How Writing Has Shaped How I Read: An #IWSG Post

Hey there, readers and bloggers.

In case you don’t know, I’m one of many bloggers who write for the Insecure Writers Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month, imparting our wisdom and offering support to fellow writers. I don’t have a particular topic for this month’s post, so I’m going to respond to this month’s question.

How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

Before I started writing, I read simply for entertainment, even though I didn’t read that much. Then, as I went through school, I learned about how stories are broken down. There’s the five-act structure, of course. And there are other aspects like symbolism, point of view, style, dialect, theme, and so on. It was simpler back then. 

When I started writing stories, I learned to go beyond the simplistic. I learned that some research is necessary to make a story as authentic as possible. I learned the age-old adage of “show, not tell.” I learned to delve deeper into characters; that their motives aren’t always black and white. But I think the biggest thing I learned from being a writer is how stories can break the “traditional” and redefine what society deems as “normal,” no matter the genre.

Being a writer has changed how I read. It has taught me to be a critic, dissecting stories and judging whether the author has applied the techniques well. But it’s kind of a double-edged sword. On one hand, learning about how an author writes is useful when I discovered my voice and style. There are plenty of references, thus many styles to learn about. As such, I’ve taken what I learned and applied certain characteristics to develop my own style. In doing so, I discovered my voice. On the other hand, I’ve become more critical of myself, especially when I try to emulate someone else’s style and voice. Writers are unique. Their style and voice are unique. Therefore, it’s impossible to emulate one writer completely. It’s only going to lead to depression and failure. And that’s a lesson I’m still working on applying.

So, that’s my two cents on how writing has changed how I read. I would like to know how writing has changed you. Feel free to respond in the comments. Until next time…

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Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

3 thoughts on “How Writing Has Shaped How I Read: An #IWSG Post”

    1. I think it’s hard for me to shut that part of my brain down. There’s the saying that if you want to write better, you have to read more. And that’s what I want to do; write better. And studying other writers is the best way to do so. At the same time, I am denying myself an experience. So, like anything else in the writing world, there’s a balance that must be attained. Haven’t found it yet, though.

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  1. I think most writers agree with you and have a hard time turning off the critical portion of their brain and struggle to read for pure enjoyment anymore. I think I still can, for the most part, but now I’m worried that means I’m not critical enough of myself! Although, I tend to think everyone else surely knows what they’re doing, so I’ll learn what I can when I read! Or..I read mindlessly to escape from life and all the work I don’t feel like doing! Christy (aka Cecelia) from erica and christy http://www.lynneawest.blogspot.com

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