If you are going to write, you must read. Moreover, if you are a writer who reads, you are going to write – you will write more, and you will find yourself writing well. Reading and writing go hand in hand; you cannot do one without the other.
In his book, On Writing, Stephen King observes “the Great Commandment” for writers is “read a lot, write a lot.” It is imperative to understand this important concept – if you are going to write, you have to keep your mind sharp and in shape. The best way to do this is by reading.
How often have you heard in order to play a great game as a quarterback in the Super Bowl, you have to do a lot of practicing, play a great season, and then practice some more before that special day in February. You just don’t walk out onto the field and win the Super Bowl without all that preparation.
Believe it or not, the same holds true of flying airplanes. If you are going to fly well, you have to fly regularly. This concept is also true when it comes to music, sailing, figure-skating, driving, scuba diving, teaching, and – well – just about everything.
I remember a time when I stopped writing for a while. I was mad at the world, and in particular, every teacher of writing, every editor, and all publishers. I threw my typewriter (yes, that is how long ago this incident happened) into the corner of my bedroom and did not touch it for over a year.
Finally, I realized I had to get on with my life.
I pulled out the typewriter, dusted it off and cleaned it up, changed the ribbon, and began again.
It was an odd feeling, putting words to paper again. It was a slow process, but after a little time passed pecking at the keys, the rhythm returned and the words began to flow.
I realized I should never again let time pass without practicing those things I love to do.
Oh yes, I have never figure skated in my life. In fact, I have been on ice skates only three times in my life: the first time, the last time, and the only time.
© 2010 J. Clark