Nearly two months to the day we introduced our first weekly feature on this blog, “Your Monday Prompt,” we bring you our second weekly blog feature, “Your Friday Recommendation.” You’ll see worthwhile books on writing craft, creative productivity, and improv, plus recommended short stories, anthologies, magazines, novels, poetry collections, films, podcasts, and other media content worth your time. It’s all in the name of advancing creativity, recognizing good writing, and figuring out how story works.
The Scrawlers maxim is “Writers read. Writers write.” The second sentence is a no-brainer, but the first sometimes trips people up. Why should I read if I’m only interested in writing? Why waste writing time by reading a book? Why spoil my clean canvas of creativity with the work of others? The answer to each question is that reading and writing go hand-in-hand. Reading builds vocabulary, helps you know what sells, teaches you what’s good and what’s not-so-good, and pushes your concepts of creativity’s boundaries just a little farther. And who knows, you may have fun, too.
Or don’t read. Aspiring writers don’t need to read, particularly anything of literary merit, and especially in their chosen genre. This bit of faux advice makes just as much sense as telling an aspiring comic book-style artist they can draw everything freehand without laying out light pencil shaping first, telling an aspiring writer the first draft is always gold and they don’t need to worry about revision or editing, or telling an aspiring improviser they always make the right choices and are the driving force behind their ensemble. I’ve been that artist, that writer, that improviser who naïvely believed they can put the horse before the cart and make it work better than ever. It’s a natural step in the creative process and you can learn from it, provided you push yourself to move on.
Read it and see what happens.
[tags]reading recommendation, writers read, your friday recommendation[/tags]