Read to Write: Why Writers Should Read Many Books

I am reading every day, every chance I get. Books are everywhere in my life—beside my bed, in the bathroom, flanking my armchair, in my bags and suitcases, and stacked into all nooks and crevices of my house.

The reason is simple:

I don’t want to be influenced by just one writer.

Read to Develop Your Author’s Voice

Your writer’s voice develops through extensive reading and writing over many years. All the influences accumulate into your unique sound.

But your voice can bend to sound like someone else’s.

More than once, I’ve been reading so much of one author that I began to hear that author’s voice in my head, dictating my prose.

I’ve had times when I sounded like a Stephen King rip-off or a Frank Herbert clone.

Read As Many Authors as You Can — Simultaneously

Reading dozens of books at once helps me preserve my distinct voice—this way, I protect it against drowning in any outside influence.

I study many different voices and integrate what I like into my writer’s voice.

But only when it feels natural.

Enjoyed this blog?

Have a look at my other posts. And if you need help finishing your story, let’s chat.

Read to Write: Why Writers Should Read Many Books

Niels Kwakernaak

Nonfiction Editor

Thanks for your interest in my experience and ideas. I write these blogs to help you overcome the hurdles of being a writer.

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