'I don't know how to start writing' said many a military officer
That’s very easy to solve: you just start reading.
Turn off the TV, hide your smart phone and disconnect your social media apps just for a while, you don’t have to completely go cold turkey.
Reading and writing are completely related. Without one the other cannot exist.
Research has found that when we read extensively, we become better writers and that reading different types of books helps us to learn text structures and language that can be transferred to our own writing.
One of the primary reasons that we read is to learn, because writing is the act of transmitting knowledge in print. We must have the information before we can share it. Therefore, reading plays a major role in writing.
PLEASE, under no circumstances, rush to Amazon and buy a book about writing!
Buy a book, borrow a book or download a book to your reader (having switched on flight mode first!). Get something that captures your imagination, something that you want to read and can be read just for the joy of reading and not because you need to read it.
Training to be a writer – yes, just by reading something you enjoy you will actually be in training - needn’t be a hard slog and needn’t involve an expensive creative writing course.
Finding time to read needn’t be an issue either. It just needs to be a habit:
- Head to bed a little earlier and read and you’ll also sleep better.
- Join a book club or create your own reading list. Don’t only read just what interests you. Force yourself to read other material.
- Take your book or download EVERYWHERE. There are so many opportunities to read, instead of continuously checking your Facebook feed. If you download, remember that planes don’t have WiFi so download the full version not just the sample (my mistake, twice!).
What to do next…
Create a reading habit, read, read, read and read.