Stephen King once wrote, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” I couldn’t agree with him more.
And it’s not just one man’s (and one woman’s) opinion. A study by professors at University of California, Berkeley proves that reading has a favorable effect on cognitive skills and vocabulary.
And I have some ideas on how that happens or, at the very least, how it happened for me. Have you ever come across a word in a book and not known what it meant? (Many times.) Did you look it up? (Every time.) Did you then try to use it in conversation or writing? (Definitely, with mixed results.)
How else does reading affect your writing?
It shows you different writing styles.
Reading different types of content, or content from different types of mediums, exposes you to different writing styles. For example, reading Game of Thrones is different than reading an article in The New York Times; reading The American Journal of Medicine is different than reading The Tell-Tale Heart.
Even reading different publications across the same medium can expose you to different styles. The New York Times, for example, has its own house style that might differ from other newspapers. James Joyce utilized a stream of consciousness style of writing compared to Ernest Hemingway’s more direct, declarative style.
Exploring different styles of writing allows you to determine which style appeals to you most and which style will benefit your content the most.
You learn more.
Reading, in addition to expanding your vocabulary, gives you the opportunity to learn more about the subject matter. That’s why most people read in the first place – to learn about something. You can use the knowledge later to support your ideas as you write.
Reading literature also makes us more empathic (reports The Guardian) as well as smarter and nicer (reports TIME). Empathy also makes you a better writer and helps your business, according to Author Unlimited.
So the next time you want to dive into that new book, but you have work to do, remember: technically, it is work!
Come back next week to learn more about keeping your readers interested and, as always, if you need help with content writing, give us a call: 888-521-3880.