How Reading Can Make You A Better Writer (And Person, In Actuality)

We all know, or should know, that reading is essential to life. Were you aware, though, that the act of sitting down and diving into a book or newspaper article does more than make you feel academically accomplished? You send your brain all kinds of positive signals when you feed it with a good story. Your writing abilities also stand to improve when you take the time to read.

Reading Changes You

Science confirms what your teachers have told you for many years. Reading increases blood flow to the brain, which causes its functioning to be much more efficient. Perhaps such is why the school “nerd” had all of the answers in class. He read during his free time and was, thus, better capable of dissecting what was being asked at the moment.

You can read to increase the positive vibes in your brain so that you are better able to handle:

  • Stress
  • Old Age
  • Creative Processes

Reading on a regular basis also helps you develop empathy for others since a good story will have you reconsidering your perspectives on life and the way that things work.

Reading and Writing

Not only does the activity of reading influence you for the better as an individual but it also positively impacts your writing skills. If for nothing else, a good book improves your vocabulary. You will always remember that word that compelled you to reach for the dictionary in the middle of the story so that you could get a full understanding of what was taking place in the scene.

Reading also impacts your writing skills from a creative stance. It is quite difficult to find inspiration or speak to an audience without first being a member of said group. How are you supposed to know what sells in Horror and Suspense if you have never picked up a Stephen King book? Reading teaches you what styles work and which methods are best left alone.

Literacy in the Real World

Sadly, despite the many benefits attached to reading a good book, the practice of consistent literacy enjoyment is on the decline. Much of the lost interest in books comes from a society that encourages fast-paced living. You cannot sift through a good, meaningful story. You must sometimes return to the beginning to understand what is taking place in the middle of the book.

The digital era does not generally allow for such attention to detail, which is why you do not often see much support for traditional print books in society. There is, however, growing support for audiobooks, which leads some to wonder: Is listening to a book the same as actually reading it?

When you think about it, there are a few benefits that come with audiobooks. Perhaps the most obvious perk is the fact that you can enjoy a good book on-the-go. There is nothing better than occupying your road trip with a 10-hour long book that, when completed, makes you feel like a better person. Listening to someone else read a book and cracking open the art piece yourself, however, are not the same.

When you surrender to the voice giving you the story via audiobook, you are letting that person dictate how the story goes. Their imagination influences your thoughts so that your fantasies about the story are not entirely your own. When you sit down and read a book, however, you are working entirely from your mind’s creativity. You can make characters sound the way that you want them to sound, and you can stay on a page for however long you desire.

Time is another freedom that you surrender when you choose an audiobook over the real thing. You cannot speed up the time it takes the narrator to get through the story without skipping over certain parts of the narrative.

Turn the Page and Read for Better Writing

Sure, you get the pleasure of marking a book off your list when you listen to it via audiobook. Your writing skills, however, can only be fully developed when you use the traditional means of reading, which includes holding a physical book and turning actual pages to complete the story. Not even digital texts give the same perks as print stories. If you want to be the ultimate wordsmith, then you must become the reading warrior. Barnes & Noble, anyone?

Sources:

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-benefits-reading-why-you-should-read-everyday.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201401/reading-fiction-improves-brain-connectivity-and-function

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-hanski/read-more_b_5192754.html

https://www.paperbecause.com/PIOP/files/7d/7db7c4e0-0065-408d-82d4-a86c5f879bc3.pdf

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