Jordan Ogren

December 29, 2021

To write well, you must...

To be a great writer, you must read.

I will die on that hill as many eloquent writers have.

"For a man to write well, there are required three necessaries: to read the best authors, observe the best speakers, and much exercise of his own style." — (Ben Jonson, Timber, or Discoveries, 1640).

"Writing is a difficult trade which must be learned slowly by reading great authors; by trying at the outset to imitate them; by daring then to be original and by destroying one's first productions." — (Attributed to André Maurois, 1885-1967).

One more if you still don't believe the link between writing and reading.

"The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor. ...Read a lot, write a lot is the great commandment." — (Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, 2000).

There are many reasons the great writers have promoted reading.

First, it allows you to see and appreciate excellent writing. And to discern poor writing when you read it.

Second, it gives you a model of great writing to first copy, then steal, and finally make your own. Without it, you're shooting (writing) in the dark.

Third, it adds new ideas, insights, and writing techniques to your repertoire. For example, you may find a unique writing style or an idea–from reading–that breeds a new article.

Finally, it's good for you. Only 25% of American's picked up a book in the previous year (rough number). Think about where we are collectively regarding health, intelligence, and wisdom.

Do you want to be like the majority? Or the minority who read daily and find a better way to exist than binge-watching Family Guy?

I know which camp I desire to reside in.

For me, I view reading as a huge net positive. Rarely, if EVER, does reading not help me.

What are your thoughts on reading? Does it help improve writing?

Or were all the great writers smoking too much dope?

🧠 + ❤️ // JO