Reading for writing craft

Reading for writing craft: Turn reading from a writing fuel into a writing tool

Reading is the bedrock of writing. If you’re looking to improve your writing craft, one of the best ways to do so—outside of actually writing—is to read. Read widely, read deeply, steep yourself in words.

But that’s not the whole story.

Writing is like magic, in more ways than one. If you want to be a stage magician, you can’t just watch loads of polished performances and expect to be able to emulate them. You have to look behind the curtain to see how the tricks are done. Then you have to practice. A lot. Until that sleight of hand becomes invisible to the audience and the magic happens.

In the same way, reading doesn’t automatically equip you with the skills that you need to write effectively and make the magic happen. But if you can peek behind the curtain with an analytical eye, you’ll transform reading from a writing fuel into a writing tool. You’ll be able to use it to guide your writing practice and hone your craft.

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