On Reading

“My eye frees what the page imprisons:
the white the white and the black the black.”
Ibn ‘Anmar of Silves

One of the first things every creative writing teacher will tell you is that you must read to be able to write. You must read across genres and eras, read the classics, read your contemporaries, read, read, read… And there are writers that don’t heed that advice because they don’t want to be influenced by other writers. I don’t trust writers that don’t read.
During the times I’m at school I read a lot. Sometimes 5-6 books a week, but I still can’t wait for the semester downtimes when I can pick up a book to read strictly for pleasure. I don’t need to remember any of it, or annotate it, or quote it in a critical essay. Those are the books I treasure. I think the first books we read can be life changing, they can change how you feel about reading and writing. What early books influenced your life? How does reading help you in your writing? Now get back to work!
The Writing Nag
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