Does Reading Help Your Writing?

Does reading help your writing? I’m kinda asking, because I’m curious. I know I’ve read in many posts, articles, and books that writers need to read, read, read. Though, when is a good time to do that? This post isn’t a writing tips one, it’s more of a rant/discussion one. Though, I’ll add some sites that I’ve found for creative writing at the end of this post. That being said you can scroll down if you’d like to just explore some links.

Continuing, if your a writer your most likely a bit of an avid reader. It’s really the only way to see how things work. Plus, I think it comes with the package. Anyway in the spirit of the above tip, and since I had this month off from school, I dove back into reading. Well, more like I dragged my way to the reading cliff and slid my way down. It took me three weeks to get through The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. I doubt I’ll get through The Dresden Files new additions by Monday, tomorrow, when I start class again.

As you can figure out, reading did not help me. I had a writing high at the beginning of the month. Writing and researching for my blog posts and novel. I figured that I would get to finally read for fun, and write when I needed a break. Two things happened. The main thing was a little monster, that is supposedly my offspring, took a lot of my time. I mean I had the month off, so she was due. Second, I got caught up in Panem. I still am, and will probably have to read something very different like Marley and Me in order to get out of it.

As the saying goes you win some, you lose some. I know now that I shouldn’t start a new book when I’m in a writing groove. It doesn’t help. However, that’s not to say that reading hasn’t helped me before. For example, my previous post on Edgar Allan Poe has a paragraph of a setting for an assigned short story. I received some good feedback from my classmates for that one, and it was because of Poe that I got into the right mind set. I read The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart beforehand, and it kept me in a creepy mood. Though, in the end Poe couldn’t save my story, as I think it was fairly horrible. (No, I don’t have it posted yet, and may or may not do so later. It was pretty bad.)

The good thing is that horrible short story gave me a jumping off point for my novel. As far as reading improving my writing, I find myself skimming through books when I’m stumped with dialogue. Which is that hardest thing about writing for me, and I wonder if I’ll ever get it right.

So back to the original question. Does reading help you when writing or does it make things worst? As for me, I think I’ll stick to skimming books when I’m actively writing.

Now on to some links. I don’t really have too much to offer but want to keep with the standard of my other post. The following is a book recommendation and a few articles on writing that I’ve found helpful.

How about you? Do you have a blog on writing that you would like to share. Go ahead and ignore blogger etiquette and leave your link in the comments. Hope you enjoyed the post.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on

Published by Linda Marie

Hello, I'm a stay-at-home-mom, student, and aspiring author currently working hard at becoming a freelance writer and blogger. I love writing, reading, and having discussions with people. Please join me at my blog Books and More where I discuss and analyze all things literature and then some.

3 thoughts on “Does Reading Help Your Writing?

  1. Great post, Linda! Not only does reading help me write better. But it also gives me some writing prompts. I love to read and it definitely feeds my writing by allowing me to learn new words and definitions. When I read, I keep either a dictionary or my phone handy to look up the word in I also like to use the thesaurus.


    1. I use to have both a dictionary and a thesaurus too. After being on a ship I had to make the change to digital. No more book smell, but it’s so much easier to make notes and look up words that I still use Kindle.

      Liked by 1 person

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