Reading as a Writer
“We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service.” — Charles Spurgeon
As a writer, how much time do you spend reading?
I have always loved to read, but it was only recently that I recognized a direct correlation between what and how much I read to what and how much I write. Reading is so much more than a hobby, a means of relaxation, or simply a way to pass the time. As a writer, reading is a necessity.
Take a look at these four reasons why it’s essential to read as a writer.
- Reading provides inspiration.
In all his wisdom, Solomon wrote,
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, ESV).
You may not have new ideas, but you can offer a new, personal perspective. Reading the works of others can help to inspire you, give you new ideas, and even make you think about things you may not have considered before.
As you read, take note of these things, and ask the Lord if He would have you write something as a result.
- Reading helps us learn what does and doesn’t work.
What keeps your attention as you read? What makes you not want to put a book down? Or on the other hand, what makes reading feel laborious, boring or frustrating?
Reading helps you to take off your writer lens and look at the words you write as a reader. If you’re feeling out of touch with your readers or not sure how your writing is being received, take some time to read. You may be shocked at what you learn!
- Reading teaches us.
I am so thankful for the men and women who have spent time researching, studying, applying and then writing works for us to learn from. Reading not only teaches us facts and information but also teaches us more about people’s experiences and perspectives.
Proverbs 3:13 says, “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding” (ESV).
Wise and understanding writers will spend time reading.
- Reading supports other writers.
Lastly, reading is one of the best ways to support and encourage other writers. Take some time to read books, articles and blog posts from other writers, and then let them know how it impacted you.
As a writer, there’s nothing much better than hearing how the Lord uses your steps of obedience in the lives of others. Is there a writer who has impacted or inspired your writing? Let them know!
If you’ve gotten out of the habit of reading, now is a great time to get back in it! Keep a book on your bedside or coffee table, rent audiobooks from your local library to listen to when you’re in the car or doing laundry, or load e-books on your phone or tablet. The more accessible books are, the more likely you are to read.
Also keep in mind, as a Christian writer, the most essential book to spend time in is the Word of God. If you’re not starting (and staying) there, everything else will fall short.
What are you going to read today?
How else has reading played a role in your writing? Let us know in the comments!
January 2, 2024
December 26, 2023
December 19, 2023