Reading While Writing

Heart Book

I have heard the argument for both sides on whether or not to read while we are completing our stories. Let’s look at the arguments against and for reading while writing your book or short story.


The argument against:

Reading is a distraction and precious time taken away from writing. Time spend with our noses in another book could have been spent getting another chapter done on the novel or another rewrite of a short story. So make sure you use your time wisely.

Writers are also worried that they will lose their voice or start to plagiarize some of their favorite authors. Writers will start regurgitating what they just read creating stereotypical characters and stories. This happens especially in beginning writers who are still trying to discover their personal voice and writing style.


The argument for:

When writing we should read everything from fiction, how to books for writers, dictionaries, magazines, and anything else we can get our hands on. Books allow writers to expand their inspiration. Reading helps us develop our craft and become better because we are reading the authors who are already published.


In the arguments against people are worried about being influenced by their favorite writers, perhaps that means we should step away from our favorites and start reading genres outside our usual standards. Not only with reading outside the box expand the understanding of different types of writing styles but we could also find a new favorite author. 🙂

On the other hand some authors read in the same genre that they write because it gives them a spark and influence to keep going.

There are also writing courses out there that encourage copying the writing styles of classics to learn a specific style of writing. This is not plagiarizing (unless you publish it) it is learning to write from a master by becoming an apprentice. Remember we fell in love with writing, most likely, because we love to read and wanted to create stories too.

Again this is all up to the individual writer. There is no wrong or right way to go about getting our stories down on paper.

So keep writing (and even reading)!





About Infinity

I was born and raised in Colorado. I have a Master's degree in Psychology and several years experience in coaching, writing and graphic design. View all posts by Infinity

3 responses to “Reading While Writing

  • Writing Jobs

    That was another excellent post today. You make it look so easy. Thanks so much for sharing. I really enjoyed reading it very much. Have a wonderful day!

  • Theo Fenraven

    I used to not read while I was writing. I was nervous about subconsciously copying that writer’s style. Turns out, my writing style is strong enough I no longer worry about that. I know who I am. I can read anything now, enjoy it, but remain unaffected. Additionally, the best writers will inspire me to try and writer better. Always a plus!

  • Tabatha Hansen

    I love reading while I write! But I do worry about sounding like someone else. I hear my voice in my head when I write so I hope I’m individual enough that I don’t sound like some of my favorite authors.

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