Monday, February 13, 2012

Writing Vs. Reading

Why does there have to be war between the two, when you can't have one without the other.  It's sort of like the battle of the sexes, while both are different, they complement one another. What good is a book if there is no writer?  What good is a writer if there is no one to read? 

 Some people are excellent readers.  They can skim through a book, retain all the rich detail, broaden their understanding of the world created for them on the page, and then leave the experience of the adventure in a special place in their hearts and minds.  Then there are poor readers.  These are the people who struggle with color with their abstract minds.  The story before them doesn't fit their idealistic molds, therefore leaving them confused, languid, and empty.  Then, after frustration, rarely venture to pick up another book - often thinking them trivial, abase.  But what of these same types of readers pursue to write - will it make much a difference?

Absolutely!  Within two or three paragraphs of a book, regardless if its fiction or non-fiction, I can tell the type of reader.  It's like knowing if a kiss comes from someone who loves or loathes you - there's a distinct difference.

Not everybody can write, regardless of how much they read.  The gift of a writer is essentially that - a gift.  It's not earned or learned, and it's given without consent before the taking of the first breath.  While some may learn the rules, characteristics and anesthetics of the craft - they can't manufacture the gift - no matter how much they try, wish or pray for it.  As for those who have the 'gift', the differences lay in how much they practice, hone and apply their understanding to their talent.  There are many LAZY writers who never practice, nor apply themselves to learn, shape and sharpen their gift - therefore frustrating it and becoming bad stewards of what they were freely granted.  One of the best sharping tools a writer can have is READING.

Reading is equal to a student learning from the teachers who have gone before them, giving reverence and honor to those who've blazed the trails. There are lessons learned in reading that can't be taught in a classroom, with a guide or reference book.  Reading is more than grammar, punctuation and tense.  Its voice, pacing, structure, weaving, plot, passion and adventure; it is silent instruction by example.  It's like love - it must be experienced to receive, not taught or explained.  You know it and become aware of it, because it becomes part of who you are. 

So, if you dream of being a writer - my biggest advice is first be an excellent reader. Besides, you might actually enjoy some great adventures along the way.  For those who do become writers, never stop reading.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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