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Reading: The Useful Activity For Writers


So, you want to be a writer? Before you rush into penning that novel, you need to really study the craft. That doesn’t mean going on a creative writing course, or even do anything that will cost you too much money at all. The only thing you really need to do is, simply, read a book.

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

Reading is one of the most valuable things you can do as a writer. The more widely you can read, the more benefits you will get from it.

With that in mind, the following is a list of tips for how you can read more widely.

1) Read new authors in your favourite genre. It’s easy to forget how many different authors are out there. Why not browse your favourite genre section in the shops – or online – and see what hidden treasures you can find. As a horror writer myself, I have been impressed by how many horror authors we have in the UK.

2) Read outside of your favourite genre. There are so many different genres out there to explore, and you might even surprise yourself and find a new favourite.

3) Visit your library. I love wandering into the library and picking a selection of books. An interesting exercise is going to your local library and choosing a book completely at random, without even reading the blurb or the first page.

4) Don’t just stick to books. Novels are usually the first form of writing that spring to mind when you think about reading, but there are so many other types of writing out there, from short stories and flash fictions, to poetry and plays.

5) Don’t forget non-fiction. You don’t have to stick to just fiction. Why not flick through some articles in a magazine or newspaper, or try an autobiography or even a history book. It’s all about exploring what else is out there.

So, there you have it – five helpful hints on reading more widely. Happy reading!

 Written by Nicole Simms

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