Thursday, May 15, 2014


I have always loved writing. That's no secret. But I was never much of a reader until I got into 7th grade. Contrary to my older sister who took a book EVERYWHERE (parties included), I equated reading with my other least favorite chore—washing the dishes. 

Once in a while, however, a book I had to read for a book report grabbed my attention. Some favorites were: A Devil in Vienna by Doris Orgel, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr, My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, and Sarah Bishop by Scott O'Dell. I read these books in 4th and 5th grade, but remember their impact more than 25 years later.  

So why all this talk about reading on a writing blog? Because the two go together! Books made me the writer I am today. I continue to learn about technique and how to be a better writer from the many books I read. If writing is something you love or need to work on, reading is the key. 

If you're a reluctant reader, here are some tips to change that. You may still prefer other activities, and that's okay, but reading doesn't ever have to be painful! :-) 
1. Find a book you connect with. Love sports? Choose a book where the main character plays your sport. Cooking your thing? Plenty of books about that. Trekkie or Star Wars fan? Sci-fi, here you come! 

2.Make a personal connection to the book. I know this sounds the same as number one, but it's not. Let's say you absolutely have NO choice in the type of book you can read. Don't lose hope. Do your best to make a connection to the characters or topic. Even in a book like Harry Potter, a connection can be made. Most of us have felt let out, just like Harry. Some of us have had to deal with difficult teachers, like Snape, or bullies like Malfoy. Dig deep. The book will be a lot easier to read if you can relate. 

3. Choose pictures! Picture books are not just for your baby brother. Many terrific books (e.g. Smile by Raina Telgemeier) are told through pictures. They're called graphic novels and make reading very enjoyable!
4. Break it down. Never feel like you have to read the book in one sitting. Take it slow. Read a chapter a night. If it's a long chapter, read half. If you don't feel pressured, there's a bigger chance you'll like what you're reading.


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