Writer = Reader

I’m reblogging this post from Sept. 2015, because the topic has come up in discussion recently with J.F.Kaufmann (who has been promoted on Reading Recommendations). I thought it was a good time to reblog this to go along with the recent reblogging of On Reading for Writers, and Writing for Readers.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

You can be a Reader and not be a Writer.

You cannot be a Writer without being a Reader, first and always.

No exceptions. No arguments. No Ifs, Ands, or Buts.


We learn to read before we learn to write. We learn to write well by continuing to read, forever and ever. No excuses like, “I’m too busy writing to make time to read,” or “I don’t want to be influenced by another author,” or “I’m afraid if I read a book while writing this one I’ll lose my unique voice.” No, no, and no, I reply. Not good enough, because as I said above, No Exceptions! And that means you, as well as every other Writer.


Sorry to have to bring out the tough love, folks, but I’m tired of hearing these excuses from too many of you. And I’ve said it all before. If you want to learn…

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6 responses

  1. […] with me for the ride as I research and write about Reading. I’m excited, because after all I am a Reader first and an author second, so I have a vested interest in both covers of a book, so to speak. I do already have a good idea […]

  2. This would be like conducting surgery without ever observing other surgeons.

  3. I don’t believe that anyone can learn how to write from books on how to write or from workshops only, no matter how good they are. They are useful for polishing your skills, but reading is essential: good books, not-so-good-books, children’s books, different genres, non-fiction … doesn’t matter. It is reading that wakes up your talent for writing.

    If you don’t listen to music, you can’t be a composer. The same goes for writing. Not every avid reader becomes a writer, but you cannot be a writer if you are not an avid reader.

  4. Well, you already know I totally agree with what you’ve said on this topic. I can only add Hear! Hear!

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