The Essential Skills to Read Like a Writer

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. — Dr Seuss

Reading is a very personal hobby and one I have enjoyed for many years. Some of my best memories are of accompanying my mum to the library. To this day, there is a constant stream of paperbacks passed back and forward, between us.

Speed is not essential in reading, as long as you are enjoying yourself. 

However, like any skill the more you practice it the better you get.

I can understand and analyse books from the GCSE reading list, that at fifteen I didn’t have a clue about.

Since I started writing I have started analysing text more. I even find myself liking the analysis of a text, which is an area I hated at school.

How to Get The Most From Your Writing.

Enjoy what you are reading — If you don’t like the book move on, there are too many out there to waste time on one you don’t like. Don’t stick to the familiar genres though, challenge yourself and read new books and authors. I challenge myself to read 10 new authors a year.

Essential is to read in a genre, that you write in.

Reading is reading regardless of type. — Whether you read fiction, non- fiction, textbooks, newspapers or graphic novels. Reading is reading regardless of the packaging. If you read articles on Medium, you are still a reader.

As long as you take something away from reading, the format is irrelevant.

Practice makes perfect — The more you read and practice the skills, the better you will become. You will find your reading speed increase over time. However, don’t make your writing completely about speed. It should be about enjoyment first.

This is not a race, whether it takes a month or a day, read at your speed.

Read with a notebook beside you — I always have something to write on when I am reading. A quote I have enjoyed. An unusual way a writer builds suspense all get written in my book. You could write notes in the book, I can’t do it. This type of reading will not just engage you more with the book but will help you become a better writer.

Read like a writer and learn, learn, learn. 

Reading is good for mental health. — I struggle with relaxing and letting my brain settle. Reading is one of the only ways, that I completely relax.

Taking a break from life and disappearing into a fictional world, helps repair our soul.

Be a positive role model to your children.—It is no coincidence that when you first register your child that their first book is provided for you. Reading at an early age is essential. Positive role modelling from parents is essential. I remember at a young age watching my mum with her head buried in a book. She shared her love of reading with me. She started reading to me as a small child. Then she would take me to the library and bookshops as I established my own reading tastes.

Reading to your children is the best gift you can give them.

Whatever you do enjoy it. Reading is one of my true pleasures in life. Reading opens up whole new worlds and adventures.

What is your favourite book?

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