A reader is not necessarily always a writer. Someone may enjoy getting lost in the pages of a beautiful book, taking in the words of smart, witty, incredible authors, but they may not find a passion in crafting their own words or working toward their own work of literary art. This certainly does not mean that they do not have a passion for the written word or that they don’t understand the art of writing. In fact, they understand it just as much as a writer does. And they may just have more time to get to that daunting to-be-read list without a daunting writing project staring them down at the same time.
On the other hand, it seems that a writer is almost always a reader. Or at least it seems that they should be. A writer must know what is out there, what others have written, and how their personal, unique voice may fit in. If you are a writer and you haven’t found your reading niche, don’t give up on either. I’m sure you can be a writer without being an “avid” reader, without having some gigantic, hard-to-keep-up-with reading list, but having a favorite book looking at you from your shelf is always that little dose of inspiration to write what might become someone else’s favorite book one day.
I, myself, am both. Reader. Writer. Book lover. Word lover. I’m not exactly sure which came first, but I do know that they’ve both been there from a very young age. I wrote a single-line ‘story’ in a class scrapbook of sorts in first grade. I taught myself to read the liner notes of my favorite band’s first album (we’ll talk about Hanson more in later posts…let’s just say I knew the ‘actual’ words to “MMMBop” at age 4). I wrote a wacky story about a young girl discovering that her cousin is Usher and traveling to be on TRL. (It was the early 2000s, kids. Incredibly relevant at the time.) And much farther down the road I began amassing a large collection of books and notebooks as well. It was all just the buildup of my passion for both reading and writing, the lessons and the new ideas of who I was as both a consumer of others’ stories and a creator of my own.
Why is all of this important? Why is it important to distinguish between and connect being a reader and a writer? Because these are connected passions. Words come at us all the time, through tweets and articles and what have you. But when we find the words wrapped up in a book, when we have the words that come from those we admire, it’s a whole different ballgame. We get to learn about ourselves and this passion we have. We get to read what we want and write our own stories. I love being a reader, finding new books, collecting them up on my bookshelf, and discovering those little hidden gems in a bookstore. And I love being a writer, meeting new characters, crafting their world, and creating my own stories. It’s everything to me, and all of my words and all of my love for books must certainly go back to those album liner notes and that silly story about Usher. We all start somewhere.
Go forth, read and write, my friends. 🙂
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