Missed the first posts in this series? Check them out here.
#2 Read Voraciously
If you want to be a good writer, the best thing you can do is to immerse yourself in good writing. Surround yourself with well-written books by authors that inspire you to think, dream, and do.
Writers and bloggers are constantly pouring out words to the world. If you don’t replenish your creativity supply, your well will soon run dry.
Yes, You Have Time To Read
You might be saying, “But I don’t have time to read!” Can I encourage you to evaluate if that statement is really true? I believe everyone, no matter how full their life, can make reading a priority — even if it’s just a few pages from a book every day.
You usually always have time for what you want to have time for. As has well been said, “If it’s important to you, you’ll make time for it. If it’s not, you’ll make an excuse.” So in most cases, it’s not a matter of not having time; it’s a matter of choosing to use your time differently.
Could you cut out some of your Pinterest-hopping, Facebook-viewing, or TV-watching? Or, what about finding ways to add reading to things you’re already doing?
A few examples:
- Listen to audiobooks while you’re driving or cleaning.
- Read the classics aloud to your children at the dinner table (even just 5 minutes every night).
- Always carry a book with you in case some free minutes open up in your day.
- Be a little crazy like me and read on your iPad while walking & running on the treadmill. 🙂
- Find many .
Read From a Wide Variety of Perspectives
In addition, I think it’s important to be challenging your mind from different perspectives. I try to always be reading a few well-written blogs and books from a broad spectrum of genres. This allows me to continually be exposing my mind to new ideas and inspiration.
I usually have 3-4 books going at one time — each from a different genre. For instance, right now I’m reading a novel by Lynn Austen, a spiritually challenging book, a biography, a homeschooling book, and I’m getting ready to start a new business book.
I do something similar with my blog-reading. I follow about 20 blogs total: a few deal blogs, a few blogs on simple living, a few blogs on leadership/business, a few blogs on parenting & homeschooling, and a few book review blogs. Since each of these blogs approach things from different perspectives, I’m challenged and inspired in unique ways each day.
Evaluate Everything You Read
One very effective way to grow as a writer is to always evaluate what you’re reading. Analyze how the blogger or author is communicating their points.
If I’m really enjoying a post or book, I’ll often ask myself, “What is the author doing to effectively draw me in and keep me reading?” This simple question can teach you so much about how to write well.
By making reading a priority, exposing myself to new ideas, challenging my mind, and analyzing what I read, it not only is helping to hone my writing craft, but it also sparks many, many new blog ideas!
Real-Life Example #2
When I was reading One Question by Ken Coleman, this quote stuck out to me: “Good questions inform. Great questions transform.”
As I mulled over it in my brain for a few days, he not only inspired me to ask more questions of people, but also to encourage you all to ask more questions, too. And that’s where part of my answer to How Do You Develop Goals That Are At the Same Time Stretching But Also Realistic? came from.
What are some of your favorite well-written books, blogs, and authors to follow/read? I’d love to get some new ideas & inspiration!