How to Use Reading to Become a Better Writer
In his article Babauta explains why reading would makes someone a better writer. The habits that you form as a reader you use as a writer. He hoes on to explain the connection between reading and writing. It is kind of like love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other. Babatua tells us to find a writer that we enjoy and use their writing as a model for our own, Rip them off he says. And eventually we will develop our own way of writing and maybe become someone else’s. Babauta tells us to creating a reading habit, to always carry our book with us, to read great writers find something to inspire us, analyze what we are reading, think about the setting of the book (time and place), and most importantly pay attention to the words the author uses and how the words convey the suthors thoughts and they flow together.
You have to care about reading, It can’t be some stupid book your teacher assigned your class that you just want to read and get it over with. “what we learn as readers, we use as writers”(Babauta). Take for example when reading you come across a word you’ve never heard of, you finish the sentence then reread it and the sentence after it, You think about the diction and the tone of the writing and you can figure out the meaning of the word. You can then add that new word to your vocabulary and gain another word that you can use in writing. Read over some of your favorites books and this time pay attention to the tone of the writing and how the words flow together to capture your attention in a way that you can’t put down that book and adapt that to your writing style so that once you start you can’t stop until the end
Critical Reading Towards Critical Writing
Knott tells us to be critical when reading. That it is okay to be judgmental because that is how you learn, how you figure out what is good and what is bad. She tells us to breakdown the text into “purpose, context, reasoning, and evidence”(Knott). Once you have finished reading and analyzing, take a look at your notes and the process by which you took them in and figure out how to do that when writing.
To be a critical reader one has to be able to understand the basic meaning of the text. Then begin to interrogate the text by breaking it down finding the concepts and understanding them. Understanding why such information was included. In my opinion it takes more than one read of an article to become a critical reader, but once that it is establish you can use the abilities you gained and use them when writing to really get people to think about and understand the topic of your writing.
Shitty First Drafts
Anne Lamott writes about her own experiences with shitty first drafts. She defines her voice in her writing with her sense of humor to keep the reader intrigued and to keep their focus until the reading is done. She explains the importance of a first draft and that it can be shitty and there is nothing wrong with that. No great writing is done on the first try. She explains the importance of a first draft is to get your ideas down in front of you so you can hear them. see them, maybe visual them. Lamott’s purpose in writing this article is to assure us that “The shitty first draft is important”(Lamott), and we shouldn’t skip it. It is the most creative part of writing.
There may be a line of gold written. To write a first draft is to be Patient and I know I’m not one of the most patient people around. Everybody hates first drafts, think they are a waste of time but no writing would be as good as it was when it got published without patience, perseverance, and first drafts.
Babauta, L.B. (2008). How Two Use Reading To Become A Better Writer.
Knott, D.K. Critical Reading Towards Critical Writing.
Lamott, A.L. (1994). Bird by Bird: Shitty First Drafts. New York; Anchor Books.