As a fellow writer, I’m sure you know the importance of reading.
Words are a writers best friend. We need to discover ways to place them next to one another in a poetic, beautiful, and most importantly, sensible manner. Reading allows us to do this.
We learn from the best
We expand our vocabulary
We enhance our imagination
But what else can reading offer? Can it only help your writing, or are there others ways reading can improve your life. Of course there are, silly. There are many many many ways that reading can help.
I would like to focus on one.
To Speak Good Is To Read Good
I’ve not always been a big reader. I was a sporty type growing up, or as the American’s would say, a Jock. As such, reading fell far down the list. I didn’t read the classics. I didn’t read the greats. For the most part, I didn’t read.
How sad is that?
Seriously, if I could go back in time I would. I would read more and expand my mind from an early age. But I can’t so I won’t. Instead I’m making up for lost time and reading a lot, now.
Guess what…some amazing things are happening
Putting aside the obvious affects like an improved knowledge of writing, I’m finding my everyday speech is getting better. Reading has only gone and done the impossible!
Transforming My Yorkshire Ways
Put your hand up if you’ve heard of Yorkshire? I’m sure many will have, and many won’t. For those who haven’t, our accent is amazing. Many say – including me – that Yorkshire is God’s Country. Others also say – again, including me – that this is a fact.
And because of our amazing-ness, it means most people can’t understand a word we say. We shorten sentences, cut off words, combine others together, and mumble and jumble the sounds into a chaotic mess.
Few people can understand what we say
As you can imagine, this makes speaking in front of people quite difficult. Especially if these people are from other countries and speak different languages. But in recent years, as my reading has increased to extraordinary levels, I’ve found my speaking has become a much more efficient machine.
Words That Make Sense
Don’t worry, I’m still very much ‘Yorkshire’. This especially comes to light after a few dozen beers, but I’m now capable of slowing down my words, pronouncing my syllables, and using words that I would previously have left in the locker.
I owe it all to reading
I still have my accent, but I now speak in a slower, more direct manner. The way I tell stories has improved, and the way I take part in conversations has, too. I didn’t set out to improve my speaking, but it’s happened.
What All This Means
It means we should read, and not just read, but read a variety of genres, authors, and books. It won’t only improve your writing, but can help in many other facets of life, too. Speaking is one of these aspects, and in my opinion it’s a vital part of a writers world (and a truly undervalued one).
Writers are introverts. That’s what they all tell us. Yet we have to read our work, do speaking engagements, talk to other authors, and network with readers and publishers and agents. Speaking is pretty important, right?
What about you?
What positives has reading brought your way?
Why do you read what you read?
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million