Wednesday, 2 October 2019

#IWSG post - Should writers read - duh - here's what I think...

Hiya friends!

Another month is here! October is a special month for me. It's my birthday (I share it with John Lennon - just Imagine that!) And mid October I set off on another overseas jaunt - Italy and France again. Just can't get enough. But of course it's a working holiday - I'm checking locations for several books.

Now let's get into the October IWSG post. Alex J Cavanaugh would have trouble reading your posts except each month he gathers a great team of helpers around him.  Please visit these wonderful people if time permits.

This month:

Alex's awesome co-hosts are Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

So, the October 2 question - 

It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. 

On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

The October 2 question is something I feel strongly about. When an author boasts that they never read, I hate it. I've seen some elite blogger/authors stating this like it's a badge of honour. My first thought is, well, if everyone felt like you, who'd buy your books?

Even big time authors like Stephen King advise writers to - read, read, read.

I'm a lifetime reader. When I attend writing retreats I'm told I have a natural feel for cadence - rhythm in my sentences. That must be because I read, read, read.

So a writer who doesn't read has ideas that are new and original? Well how do they know? It's said that there are only 7 stories in the world. If you never read ... ??? look I just get too upset thinking about the misplaced egos behind this whole idea of not reading.

My advice - buy and read other hard-working authors' works. Learn from them. Applaud their efforts. It's probably taken a year or more from their life, but they won't complain. To most of us, writing is a joy, but so is selling the fruit of our labour.

Good luck with your reading and writing.

Here's an original photo I took on a trip to Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. Now this is a book I loved reading. What spunk that young girl had. I would have been poorer for not having read her diary. And that's the case with reading most books. We always learn something.

I thank Alex for the opportunity to guest post at the IWSG site this month. If you like the idea of writing to prompts and haven't come by, here's the link. I'd love to keep the discussion going.

If you have never written to prompts and want to try as some commenters at the IWSG post have said, how about trying the October WEP challenge? It's our horror month, but you don't have to write horror. Go HERE for ideas. October 1st is the opening post for the month where you'll learn about the mystery prize. Submissions begin on October 16 for 3 days. Don't miss out.

Thanks for coming by and reading my post. Go HERE to read more IWSG posts. 


Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I feel passionately about this subject too. We writers should be reading LOTS!!!!!

Happy birthday for this month!!!

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Lyn. Going to be one of my best birthdays ever! Florence and Paris. Hello!!!!

You can be sure I’ll be reading my way around the globe.

Pat Garcia said...

I like the sentence, I'm a lifetime reader. That's what I am too. I wanted to read even before I went to school. Being able to read fascinated me and still does.
Wishing you a great October month.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

Pat Hatt said...

Yep, read read and read some more indeed.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's like wanting to be a pro ball player when you've never played the game. said...

Yes, I feel strongly about this, too, Denise. It was only on a recent creative writing course that I realised I’d neglected my reading, and I was hoping to be an author 🤭

Brigitte Kirady said...

I'm also a firm believer that reading makes better writers. It seems like a ridiculous notion to me to even want to try WRITING a book if you don't even enjoy reading them. Misplaced ego is right.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I’m a lifelong reader too! Have a great trip! And hope it’s productive.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Ooh...checking out locations in Italy and France for your books - very cool!

I have a hard time understanding how people could become writers if they aren't already passionate readers. It goes hand and hand together, like peanut butter and jelly.

Cheers - Ellen

Rachna Chhabria said...

I'm very passionate about my reading, this year I have read lots and written lots too. Enjoy your Italy and France trip.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

How can we do research on our books if we do not read. Until they invent a time machine, I cannot write well about the past without reading memoirs and collected letters of those who lived in the time of which I am writing. Audio books help me learn from master storytellers by what they do ... and don't do!

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

We were all readers first to find a love of stories ;-) Happy IWSG day!

Ronel visiting and on co-hosting IWSG day Co-hosting, Flagship Content and Interesting Developments

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Boasting one doesn't read is not something to be proud of. So many times I've been in a bookstore for an event and and someone wanders in with a friend, loudly boasting that he doesn't ever read. Sad.

Jemi Fraser said...

completely agree! There's nothing like reading to know how stories work!

Denise Covey said...

Oh yeah Jemi. And it takes a lot of reading to work that out.

Denise Covey said...

Yep. Makes my blood boil.

Denise Covey said...

Indeed we were and shall continue to be.

Denise Covey said...

So much reading for research is required if we’re going to write a book. I love the research part.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Rachna. Reading, writing, traveling. My life.

Denise Covey said...

You’re so right.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Natalie. I’m sure it will be.

Denise Covey said...

Spot on. But these people exist.

Denise Covey said...

We can’t afford to neglect the reading if we’re a writer.

Denise Covey said...

Ha. Or a brain surgeon who’s never studied neurosurgery. Lol.

Denise Covey said...

Our mantra eh Pat.

Denise Covey said...

There’s not many things in life more precious than reading.

Liza said...

Writing without reading would be like trying to write with a sputtering pen in the dark. A mess would result.

H.R. Sinclair said...

"if everyone felt like you, who'd buy your books?" -- RIGHT?

Oh, that's a great working holiday!

Denise Covey said...

For sure. I like to picture it.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Holly! I will.

Olga Godim said...

Even worse: it is like wanting to be a pro without ever watching the game.

Olga Godim said...

Agreed. Reading is not only a pleasurable pastime. It's a necessity for a writer.

Sarah Foster said...

I don't know how anyone could be a writer without being a reader.
Have fun on your trip!

Denise Covey said...

It certainly is Olga. Bring on the books!

Denise Covey said...

Me either Sarah.Puzzling all right.

Denise Covey said...

Spot on Olga. I can think of so many analogies, all pretty cutting.

Susan B.Rouchard said...

Thanks Denise. You hit it on the nail. Duh ! Is the word. My same reaction.
Hadn’t thought about the research part, but as mentioned above ... obvious and necessary to read a lot. We can’t experience everything first hand. And you can’t write about what you don’t know.
Will check out the writing prompts too, long overdue.

Nick Wilford said...

I'm a lifetime reader too - most of us grow up reading, so to make the decision to stop would seem to be a bafflingly bizarre one. Books are oxygen!

Looking forward to WEP this month.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

You nailed it! I agree that it requires an incredibly bloated ego for someone to think they don't "need" to read in order to be a good writer. Like you said, every book has the capacity to teach us something new.

Denise Covey said...

Will be lovely if you join us for the WEP challenge. Lots of great stories to read!!

Denise Covey said...

Books are oxygen for sure Nick. Looking forward to WEP too!

Denise Covey said...

What better way to learn but through a good read?

cleemckenzie said...

Such good advice: read those hard-working authors! I'm trying to imagine a world where nobody reads and that's just impossible.

Off again to some beautiful adventures I see. We seem to be out of our countries a lot. Maybe we'll bump into one another one of these days.

Denise Covey said...

That would be awesome Lee. Nothing better than being a world traveler or 'reading' about someone else's travels, LOL.

cleemckenzie said...

You're so right. Have some adventures and tell us about them.

Denise Covey said...

Or being a blogger who writes posts but never reads other’s. We know them...

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Denise! I'm still making the IWSG rounds. I hope to hit everyone in the next few days. I've been an avid reader all of my life. I can't remember a time when I didn't read. Anne Frank's diary was an early book that I read when I was eight. It had a huge impact on me. Visiting the attic where she and her family hid in Amsterdam was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Thank you for speaking up for hardworking writers. Aside from all the amazing reasons to read, I wouldn't want to buy a book published an author who couldn't be bothered reading anyone else's book. Have a great October!

Diane Burton said...

You really nailed this topic when you wrote: ...who would read your books? Excellent point.

Happy Birthday! I know I'm late. I was busy enjoying mine. lol

Denise Covey said...

Happy birthday to you too Diane.

Denise Covey said...

I’ll never forget it either. Just amazing.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Read, read, read is great practice for write, write, write imho. Can't really have one w/o the other.

A very happy birthday Denise! Wish you fun and joy and productive travels!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Oh and I love the new banner image! with a capital L. Super!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

That photo of Anne Frank's diary(?)is so cool, but more than that. It's a true story of fear and suffering. Also a hope that one day it would all pass and they could have a normal life again. When my sister had to have surgery recently, she said, "I just want to get this over with and go back to my "normal" little life." That's all we want is to live.


Denise Covey said...

Yes Theresa I imagine Anne just wanted to live a normal life yet she made the best of what life handed her.

Powdered Toast Man said...

I agree 157%. Imagine thousands of authors out there and no one is reading what anyone writes, that doesn't make sense.

Eric brunt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Denise Covey said...

Yet it happens.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Damyanti Biswas said...

'Diary of a Young Girl' is one of those books that can be read and reread a number of times. Also, I will always be a reader first!

Prince said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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