When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. — Maya Angelou
If you want to become a better writer, there are really only three things you need to do: write a lot, revise a lot, and read a lot. I’ve written before about how important it is to produce a lot of material. The first step to quality is quantity. Revision is, of course, the second step. But reading is the teacher that guides us through both.
Books That Write Us
August 9 is International Book Lovers Day, and one of my favorite things to ask writers is, “What book made you a writer?” For most of us, there was a moment in the pages of a book where we understood the world in a new way, a moment in which we saw our own thoughts and emotions and we felt a flash a recognition. We wanted to tell a story like that, to make people laugh like that, to make people think like that, to make people see like that.
Ideas, Technique, Connection
One idea invariably leads to another, so if you want to have ideas, books will help you do that.
Reading does three vital things for every writer. First, books expose us to thoughts and ideas, which are the basic food group that we must consume in order to have anything worthwhile to say. One idea invariably leads to another, so if you want to have ideas, books will help you do that. Second, books show us how to communicate these ideas well. Each book reveals technique on a scale both large and small. Third, every book connects us to someone else who was doing the exact thing that we are doing. Every book is a link in a chain that leads directly to us, now, at this very moment.
Happy Book Lovers Day, everyone! I hope your weekend includes a great date with a fabulous title.