Writers Read

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”  – Stephen King

When I was a kid, I loved to read.  I did this without hesitation until I turned 13, then I discovered boys.  This was coupled by the awfufaulknerl books we were assigned in school.  

I didn’t pick up a book of my own choosing again until I was 19. Then marriage and kids came along and reading took a back seat, although I managed to get a few books in.  I’ve always enjoyed reading (except during the lost years).

It has been said by many authors that in order to write well, one must read a lot and read broadly.  I don’t think some people understand this.

I’ve had conversations with people who want to write but have only read 1 or 2 books in a year.  For the average person, that is fine, but it is not fine for a writer. Writers must constantly read. Books, Magazines, Journals, and anything well written.

They should read Romance, Thrillers, Non-Fiction, Westerns…and so forth.

We all get into our reading ruts though.  I am glad that my MFA program is requiring books that I would not have picked for myself.  It seems even during my undergrad years I was stretching my reading muscle.  I read both Ulysses by James Joyce and In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.  Two books I would have never picked up on my own.

Neil G.jpgI was excited to get the book list for this semester.  On it were eight novels, none of which I have read.  It seems others were dismayed by the amount of books.  The semester is around 14 weeks long, so we should get through one book every 6 days or so. These books are no more than 250 pages each, I don’t see the problem…

I don’t see the problem for a writer

I guess this is what separates the serious folk from those who are not. Let is see who is standing at the end of it.

Writing is hard work. Many people don’t realize how hard it is to write well.


About Liz Kelso

This entry was posted in MFA, Reading, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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