Is it necessary to read in order to write?
Well, in my opinion, yes. One can learn so much from other writers, not only the do’s, but also the don’ts. Most writers, if not all, switch on their internal editors when reading someone else’s work. This means mentally substituting one word for another, or even rearranging whole paragraphs!
I’ve read the work of people who write, but don’t read, and whilst it’s not always unreadable, it’s almost invariably missing something. The characters are two dimensional, the narrative over-descriptive, or clichéd, and the dialogue is too formal.
Having said that, I think most authors, when they first embark on their writing journey, make some or all of the above mistakes. However, those who take the time to read and study their craft, learn from these mistakes and gradually hone their work.
I must admit it’s always puzzled me as to why non-readers wish to write. There’s nothing wrong with their ambition to do so, I just can’t fathom out why. Surely a love of reading is an integral part of a writer’s being? To me it seems only natural that if you write, you also read. As the old song says, “They go together like a horse and carriage.”
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