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Want to write better? Start reading, a lot

By Martha Simons

I believe that writing is derivative. I think good writing comes from good reading.”- Charles Kuralt

Every author will agree that writing is a skill, and the key point is in its constant improvement. One might mistakenly think that this improvement will come with practice of writing as much as one can. But the truth is that the more you read the better writer you become. Great authors of the past and the present can become your teachers and mentors in polishing every sentence and becoming a true virtuoso in writing.

Want to write better? Infographic

Enlarge Your Vocabulary

Writer can reach the point of excellence only by mastering the skill of playing with words, knowing which word to use to make a greater impression on a reader. This is why it is vital to keep building your vocabulary by reading books. As a reader you will certainly find some of the sentence constructions or usage of idioms that will astonish you. There’s nothing wrong in adopting practices of famous writers, and then turning them into something new and unique.

Make Thorough Analysis

Of course, reading is all about pleasure and enjoying the work of authors you are fond of. But as a person who writes a lot you should also dedicate some time for style, plot and characters analysis. There’s a high probability of noticing something you might want to use in your future work. There are hundreds of writing techniques you may not be aware of, so why not to learn from the best in the business?

Get Inspired

Reading a great book is one of the best ways to activate your imagination and inspiration processes when your muse is mute. If you’re experiencing a writer’s block, or there’s an idea you want to write about but just can’t find the right words, there’s nothing better than looking for new knowledge in a book.

Get Away from Daily Routine

Sometimes it may be very helpful to escape from all of your daily problems, and enter another colorful world thoroughly created by a skillful and gifted author. Your brain needs to have some rest from constantly solving upcoming issues, resolving conflicts, and creating new ideas. And there’s no better way to do it than reading. As Tony Kushner once said: “I love reading; it’s a great way to avoid writing.”

Mind the Grammar

Nobody’s perfect, so there’s no need to be ashamed if you experience some difficulties with grammar issues. By reading reputable authors you can learn how to avoid making those common grammar mistakes and focus purely on the creative process.

These are some of the reasons to make reading a habit. Read books for your pleasure, self-improvement and getting professional tips from writing gurus. Thanks to the modern technology you can download almost any book without even leaving your home, if there’s not enough time for visiting a book store.

And, of course, write, write and write, as we all know that practice makes perfect.

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