Fellow writers: Read more than you write

Fellow writers: Read more than you write

readersArdain Isma

Writing is a tedious undertaking, but for those like me who are very passionate about writing, it has become an addiction. National Book Award winner, Edwige Danticat, once told me if she were to be confined to a place where people are being prevented from writing, she would be the saddest person on earth (Read my conversation with Edwige, click here). Writing shakes souls, and that’s precisely why you should never give it up.

But there is a secret to prolific writing: Reading. Experts say you should read more than you write. I’m always reluctant to share books I’ve already read with other readers because when I read, I also underline passages and write notes. I will easily buy you a new copy if you want. I believe other writers should do the same.

Now, underlining and making references are designed to better critique a book, not to plagiarize. Remember this.  Critiquing a book should never be compared with plagiarizing. The worst thing that can happen to an author is to be caught red-handed, copycatting others’ works.

Emerging writers, keep on reading. Keep your hope high and be consistent, if not prolific. Your day will come.

NoteArdain Isma is a novelist and editing manager at CSMS Magazine. He heads the Center for Strategic and Multicultural Studies. He also teaches Introduction to Research Studies at Embry Riddle University. To see his books, click here.

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