Read More, Write Better

A friend in the communications industry complained to me about the quality of writing in the content he has to edit: “Their writing has no soul.”

He said that these writers do not spend much time reading or writing outside of work.

If you don’t read much, how can your writing possibly have any depth, variety or resonance?

It’s a common problem, but I believe anyone can work at their writing with help and encouragement. (FYI, I use ChatGPT for checking my grammar, but it remains quite soulless in its writing.)

Currently, I coach several people in the English language. I structure the learning such that I’m always helping them discover the genre of short stories they like to read.

I will share with them the writings of a great author and then get them to summarize in a paragraph what they just read. They not only have to write the summary, they have to read it out to me.

Why speaking, you may ask? We tend to write the way we speak, and vice versa, so we have to tend to the words we say as well. Ricky Lien is a master at this, check out his LinkedIn posts!

Thus, to write well, we should read the works of a master in the genre that we are interested in, study their use of words, and then make sure we practice with frequent writing and speaking. I love sci-fi, fantasy and horror, so my favorite authors include Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and Neil Gaiman.

I hope you get to read something that you love today.