I’ve always been a voracious reader. Even as a kid, I would check out the maximum number of books allowed each visit and escape into another world with Corduroy and Amelia Bedelia. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate a good book, whether it’s highbrow literature or easily readable mass market titles. To this day, I credit my appetite for a good book for my writing ability. Sure, one could argue it was the grammar drills I endured every single day of second grade or perhaps it was having great English teachers in middle school and high school. They definitely played a role in my development as a writer. However, the foundation for my writing is in reading everything I can get my hands on.
You’ll experience different writing styles. How boring would reading be if everyone wrote the same? There’s a difference between reading a Jane Austen novel and reading one by Jack Kerouac. Exposure to a variety of authors helps a developing writer to create his or her own voice and writing style.
Good books often inspire ideas for your own writing.
You’ll learn the mechanics of crafting a great story. Think about all of the authors you admire. Why do you love their writing so much? How do they tell a story? How do they make you feel when you read their work? Use your answers to these questions to help you improve your writing. What you love about other authors may help you hone your own writing voice.