Read your way to better writing

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It should come as no surprise that as an office full of people who write and consume media for a living, we are a bunch of avid readers. Here our PR Executive, Elly Worsley, discusses whether reading more can make you a better writer.

 

Although UNESCO’s World Book Day is normally geared towards children, we like any excuse to celebrate here in the Prominent office and have been excitedly chatting about our favourite books and authors over the last couple of weeks.

But we have also been discussing a more practical reason for reading. I have always found that the more I read, the easier writing became.

It may sound simple, but as a tool for igniting my imagination, extending my vocabulary and learning new things, being a bookworm has come in useful.

This sparked a debate in the office, can you LEARN to be a good writer?

We all agreed that you can certainly learn correct grammar and punctuation, which is incredibly important when it comes to being a coherent writer, but what differs the competent from the great?  In my opinion, it’s imagination and style and what could be better than reading to achieve that?

At their core, many stories are the same. After all, there are only so many different patterns that narratives can follow but being able to make dull subjects come to life is a real skill and one that I don’t think writers are ever done developing.

One of the best tips I got when I first started writing copy for clients from Ellen, our Editorial Director was “Yes always read what other people have done, but be sure to develop your own writing style”. This was such a valuable piece of advice. When you write copy for clients you need to understand their brand voice and write in their style, but it gave me so much more confidence in my own personal writing ability!

But what do you think? Do you think that reading can make you a great writer? Personally, I think it does, and it never hurts to test it out by curling up with your favourite book and a cup of tea.

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