Wednesday, December 10, 2008
How reading makes you a better writer.
I’ve heard weigh-in on this question by the greats and the not yet greats, and there are so many varying opinions. Some don’t want to read the work of others, for fear that the words and metaphors they read will sneak into their own writing. Others crave the words of others and throw caution to the wind. I’m a firm believer that reading other’s work is imperative to your own. The act of reading exceptional writing is an injection of stem cells directly to your imagination. Great writing has a literal way of activating new pathways in your brain and opening up areas of new thought. As a business owner, I am constantly reading books on leadership. As an artist, I am constantly reading books on creativity. Both speak about similar topics but through completely different lenses. Consider it like a film. The scene is the scene, but where you put the camera makes all the difference. It’s the same argument of form vs. content. If you package the same thing in a different way, it becomes a different thing. With more than 6 billion people on the planet, there really are no new ideas (cliché because it’s true), there are merely new lenses, new ways of looking at old conversations. So dive into the work of others and let it expand your own horizons.