You can't blog on an empty brain.
What do you do when you are stuck in a long line at the gas station? Do you sit there fuming? Most people find ways to make lag time like this useful, and having a book handy provides you with an engaging activity.
Reading at the gas pump, I get into the novel, and I begin hoping that the drivers in front will take their time. I want to read more, finish the chapter. I once binged on the book The Secret Life of Bees, not stopping until I have finished the work. I stayed up until 4:00 AM.
The powerful benefits of using spare time in this way is that reading develops and stimulates your mind. Just as you should write every day, you should also read.
Do you ever sit down to write a blog and find your idea tank empty? When this happens to me, the problem usually originates from skipping my daily reading.
Stephen King wrote an excellent and fun book in 2001 about the writing life, On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft, and he stresses many times the importance of extensive reading:
"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that."
Don't even bother trying to write without priming your language pump. Reading and writing go hand in hand, the books, blogs, and short stories you write being the product of immersion in the language of others.
Books feed and stimulate your cognitive and language development, and it's not just little kids that need to put in their half hour of writing daily. If you stop reading daily, essential neural pathways shrivel and language skills deteriorate.
Reading makes you a better writer.
For bloggers reading stimulates the language areas of the brain and empowers them. Your brain is plastic, which means it changes, and reading trains and develops the writing muscles that you need to blog.
Note the benefits of reading for bloggers in the image below:
Not all reading is equal.
All reading educates and stimulates the mind regardless of the genre of the book. Having said that, not all writing and reading are equal.
You should spend time in your niche topic area, but don't stop there. Study related fields to see what connections you can make. I love finding connections between psychology and blogging.
You should also read critically to get the most from what your read. Here are some tips for how to read critically:
This kind of reading work will fill your brain with creative and stimulating ideas. It will change the way your brain functions, and how efficiently it uses language.
In the end, these are all tremendous advantages you have in blogging. If you read a lot, you'll soon find that you are flooded with great ideas of what you want to write about.
Let us know in the comments below: What kind of reading benefits your writing the most?
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