Reading Is Not The Same After Writing

One of the most surprising things I found had happened as a result from starting to write seriously, was how I read books differently. After writing a novel, I can’t look at a book the same way again – which makes sense, right?

Picture someone close to you deciding to play soccer. You don’t know much about soccer. Turns out, that someone is really into it, and you end up going to a lot of their games and listening to them talk about it all the time. You’re going to have a different view about soccer now because of it. Now, maybe you can watch a soccer game on tv without being bored. You can watch a player shoot a goal and you can say, “wow! What a great play!” Or see the player make a pass a say, “what a terrible pass. They should’ve held onto it!”

This goes for writers too. You can’t write a book without the way you read things changing. For me, I can’t read through a book without talking about the brilliant way they worded this, or how the author just used that same word, or about how I hate that word choice, or how that scene was way to descriptive. Before I started writing, I never noticed or thought about these things. Now, I can’t help it when I think of how the author used one too many “ly” words in that scene (it’s terrible of me, I know).

I also used to read to the end of every book I started. Since writing, I find myself loosing interest in more books more often. I’ll read through three fourths of a book, then decide I don’t need to read the ending, because I already know what’s going to happen. Again, before writing, I would read every word of every sentence. Now, I find myself skimming over a lot in books I don’t feel connected to.

In reading anything, I’ll be actively thinking about the sentence structure or the word choice the author used, or how the author wanted this paragraph to come across to us readers. Once you’ve been on the other side of a book (the author side), it’s hard to go back to simply being a reader.

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4 thoughts on “Reading Is Not The Same After Writing

  1. Paul says:

    I’ve just found your blog via ryanlanz, and I’m so impressed. I am glad to see that you are interested, nay, dedicated, to becoming a writer. Concerning the topic ‘Reading is not the same…”, I have to say I absolutely agree. First, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Paul, a retired English prof, but please think of me as a fellow writer! I’ve gotten one story published in a decent magazine, but since then I’ve collected tons of rejection slips! Haw! but no problem, I just keep re-writing and revising and moving on.

    But yes, I do the same as yourself when it comes to reading… I note the style and–when they occur– the mistakes! The only exception for me is when I read poetry, especially the traditional stuff, e.g., Robert Frost, John Keats, etc. Then, I concentrate mostly on imagery and word use. Do you read poetry? Write Poetry?

    I’ll finish here. My wife and I are about to walk our crazy black lab, Cody. I hope you’ve had a very Merry Christmas, and I look forward to your posts!

    Keep writing!

    Like

    • samanthafentonblog says:

      Thank you for all the kind words! I never thought to go as far as to take notes on writing styles with the books I read, but it seems like it would be a good idea if I’ve found a book I really enjoy. I do love to read poetry, as well as write it, although with how flexible and different it all is I don’t ever find myself judging it the way I would a novel.
      Merry Christmas to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

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