Does Reading Make You a Better Writer?

I've only read three books this year, far less than I normally do. Why? Because I've been busy writing. I've written more than three full novels (am 1/3 of the way through a fourth) since last fall. Writing takes time. Lots of time.

Everyone says reading makes you a better writer, but is this true? Let me clarify: We all fall in love with reading BEFORE we become writers. Reading great books is what sparks the desire to write. However, after you've read many, many books and analyzed them, gotten a grasp of pacing, plot, character development, etc., I don't think the need is there as much.

Don't get me wrong. I love to read as much as the next gal. Falling under the spell of a unique setting with intriguing characters is one of the greatest treats I give myself. But, I'm not fully convinced that reading at this stage of the game makes me a better writer. I think writing makes me a better writer. Writing a lot. And, when you're writing a lot, you don't have much time to read.

I know this will put a lot of you in an uproar - panties in a wad, lampshade on your head, screaming like a wild banshee in the streets, etc., etc. Just please, people - for the sake of the neighbors and all that is good and sacred in the world - keep your clothes on!

Blasphemy! You'll say. She's lost your mind! She's gone completely mad! Maybe. Maybe not.

Chime in, my friends. How does reading help you become a better writer? I've got my boxing gloves on. I can take it.

Feel free to check out my new article on the young, talented, beautiful, and funny (if you saw SNL this weekend, you'll know what I'm talking about) Taylor Swift.
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