Read like a Writer

There’s a common thread among writers (besides the fact that we talk to the voices in our heads)–

Writers READ. . .all the time.  We are mesmerized by the written word.  We eat, sleep, and breathe words from the page–and we can’t get enough.

Yes, writers enjoy books just for pleasure.  But over the years I’ve found that I am sometimes trapped by certain phrases–good or bad.  For instance, when I read something that sings to me, I’ll reread it over and over, allowing the words to marinate.   I’ll grab my notebook and jot them down for future inspiration.

Other times, when I read something that’s not so great, I will also reread.  This time to figure out where the author went wrong.  Repetition?  Incorrect info?  or maybe just dull? I analyze my own writing to see if I’m also struggling in that area.

Whether good or bad, I’ve learned tons from both.

When teaching writing to kids, it’s important to immerse them in books.  They need to explore all sorts of writing–from diary entries to advertisements.  Kids should be allowed opportunities to experiment with different types of writing where they can learn firsthand about audience, voice, and word choice.

Next time you’re reading,  pull out some phrases or thoughts to share with your students.  Model how to examine different forms of writing.  Demonstrate for your students how to READ like a writer.


One response to this post.

  1. Letting the words “marinate” inside of you! What a TERRIFIC image! Thanks for sharing it. I think that one will stick with me like… hmmm, peanut butter on the roof of a toddler’s mouth!

    Enjoyed the Ransome interview too. I think ideas marinate also. His did for a year. Mine have marinated even longer…. Oops, I think I’m stuck on this word now!


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