Thursday, November 5, 2009

The chicken or the egg

There is a much debated question in the world of writing (well, perhaps not "much debated" but at least discussed) and that is: Does reading begat writers or do writers just love to read? In other words, are we writers because we have spent our lives reading, thus informally studying the art of stringing words together and growing to love the art. Or, do we love to read because we love the written language, connect with it and have always had a writer mind inside of us?

What are your thoughts? What came first for you? The love of the written word or the love of transferring thoughts to paper?

For me it was reading. I've loved to read as long as I can remember. And even though I'm writing now, I feel like reading is still just as important to me. I try to read a book a week. It stimulates my creativity and helps me refine my writing skills.


  1. Hmmm, that's a good question. I remember wanting to learn how to read. Before I started school, I carried around a book and asked my parents what certain words were. I couldn't wait to read! But then when I learned about writing stories in third grade, I was hooked. I wrote story after story, my teacher finally said I couldn't get anymore extra credit, but still I wrote. Reading was just as all consuming. When life was not so good, you could find me reading or writing. They've both been a huge part of my life. So I think the two are as interconnected as breathing in and breathing out. You can't do one without the other...unless you want to die. LOL!

  2. I don't think you have to be a reader to write stories. My sister hated (with a capital H) reading as a kid, but wrote the most fun, imaginative stories. She still hates reading, and even though she doesn't write, that girl can sure spin a tale!

  3. I was NEVER going to be a writer--I thought for sure it would be boring. Even though writing has always come easy to me..go figure... So, I'll have to say definitely reading. I LOVE to read!!

    Of course, lately I enjoy writing my own stories much more than writing someone else's! LOL! I'm hooked. The best part is the heroes are the way I want them And do what I would love most in the world.

  4. For me the reading came first. In hind sight I always sat in awe thinking I wish I could do this. Then one day the Lord said you can.

  5. You know, I appreciate this post very much, it reminded me of several things at once. I started writing when I was in fourth grade, but struggled all my school years with reading. I wrote a full story in 6th grade and then my first 700 paged MS when I was 18. I haven't stopped there. I was still struggling with comprehension as a freshmen in college.

    What mainly helped--taking reading out of the picture--was how I was raised at home. It was a very abusive place but I found a true escape: I created plots, characters, conflict, tension, love, hate--everything--on pieces of drawing paper. Many of them. I DREW every scene by hand up to 600 pages. I drew many stories, each a rich and vivid world.

    Creating stories like that was as true a get away as it is today but with my writing.

  6. I have always love creating stories. My parents could send me to my room or put me in time at as punishment because I could sit and entertain myself just with my own imagination. But I have also always loved to read. So I dunno.



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