A good writer reads. It’s an opinion so often stated by the historical “greats” that it may as well be fact. I, a humble subject of the literary elites, obeyed. I read. I read fiction. I read non-fiction. I read books on craft. I read poetry. I read about the top MFA programs in the country. I read the books from the suggested reading lists of the top MFA programs in the country. I read fan fiction. I read magazines. I read interviews. And finally, I reread my own writing. And I found growth.
Just as inevitably as a good writer must read, a good writer must write. Having always been an obsessive reader, I also believed in the thought that reading makes your writing great. Unfortunately, I just assumed that this transformation would happen naturally, without any added effort. But as I read, I discovered writings from some of those historical greats, Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov. They wrote about reading with intention, with purpose. I realized that my reading was not done with purpose. It was done only for enjoyment, for idle entertainment. But as I repurposed my reading from casual enjoyment to an intensive study, I noticed that my writing grew.
Reading is taught as a passive activity. In school you are asked to read, remember, and to apply just the smallest bit of thinking beyond the text. But great writers know that it is an active pursuit. Where schools fail to teach how to assess the texts, how to apply what you find to your own writing, these authors explain the secret to using reading to guide your writing. Training my brain to focus not just on the enjoyment of reading but instead to analyze, to internalize and to use the information I found within my readings has transformed my writing.
It is because of these authors that I have decided to begin my own website, sharing my readings, my writings, my thoughts and my inspirations. Not only were the greatest authors avid readers, but they were members of a community of active readers, and writers. They shared their work, their ideas, what they were reading, what they were thinking. Instead of meeting in coffeehouses and pubs, like the Inklings or Algonquin group, I have designed this website as an alternative to trying to infiltrate the elite writing societies of today.
On this website you will find advice about writing, what I’ve been reading, some writing of my own, things to help inspire you, how to use what you have read and apply it to your own work, and hopefully at least one thing that will help you keep on keeping on.