Why Being A Good Reader Matters
By Paula Morand
Whenever a new book of mine is published, people ask what it takes to be an author these days.
I answer the same way each time.
“You have to be a reader first.”
I didn’t invent that rule. In different forms, it has been a standard piece of writing advice for generations.
I first read it from Rebecca Solnit who expressed it so eloquently. She wrote:
“Before writers are writers they are readers, living in books, through books, in the lives of others that are also the heads of others, in that act that is so intimate and yet so alone.”
She suggests that when we read and want to write, we ultimately reach a point…”the hour when our imagination and our ability to associate are at their height.”
Writing is all about taking a theme and being able to associate many thoughts with it and these thoughts need to be relevant in the lives of your readers.
That leads to the second most often asked question to me and that is: Should you write for yourself or for your audience?
Of course the answer is both if you are really trying to communicate information and thoughts and philosophies that you believe were helpful to you and will in turn give value to the lives of other people.
At whatever phase we are in life, reading matters, because it gives us access to all manner of insight that can help us cope with the challenge and become our best at that point in our lives.
When we are young, we are seeking answers to who we are and what we should do with our lives that stretch out with great promise before us. When we are middle-aged, we read to reassure ourselves that where we are is where we need to be in our life plan. Sometimes we read it seeking help to reinvent ourselves or get back on a track we want more than the road we are currently taking.
As we age, we go back again to seeking the answers for the purpose of life and the promise of death and how we can reconcile the two.
It is not as if by reading that we find all the answers we seek, but in absorbing great ideas from others, we consider them and make associations and links with our own ideas, and ultimately, we find a place in our thinking that is reassuring or uplifting.
And that is the place where we recognize how worthwhile it is to be a good reader.
Does it make a difference if we read fiction or non-fiction?
I enjoy a mixture of the two because both enhance my perspective. Fictional characters find themselves entwined in the threads of real-life problems, and real people often have stories to tell that seem stranger than fiction,
We all need vision and understanding in our life. Sometimes we read to find it; sometimes we talk to find it; and sometimes we write to find it and to share what vision we have already discovered.
It is a beautiful interdependent process of moving messages through our life that inspire and enlighten us. Reading and writing are inextricably linked and as interdependent as sleep and awareness or hunger and nourishment.
Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion.
24 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
Check out Paula’s bestselling books on Amazon: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and her newest release 2018 “Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth”.
For speaking inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-888-502-6317.