You have to read to write

I once read about an author who said they didn’t read other people’s books. It’s not that they didn’t read others in his genre or his style, they just didn’t read at all.

I couldn’t understand that. How can you be a writer and not read? I can understand not reading in your own genre, to avoid being influenced by others, but nothing? I believe they said their own stories were the only ones they were interested in, but what about reading for pleasure? Reading for inspiration? Reading for knowledge? Reading, I think, is as necessary as listening and watching. Reading shows us what works, what doesn’t, what other people think and feel and tells us what other people’s lives are like and is basically just wonderful.

Between you and me, this particular author (and it was about thirty years ago and they haven’t written lately) had one story and this was how wonderful they were and everyone fancied them, set in various different landscapes. Perhaps if they’d read a few books – any books – they might have found a different story to write.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad


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