Writers Read and Readers Write

As I read Brandt’s piece, I began to think about my education as a child. Did my teachers teach me to read or write? In Elememtary school, both reading and writing were emphasized equally. But as soon as the basic skill of reading was mastered (“The boy kicked the ball. Then he ran home.”) the focus shifted to how to become a better writer. All throughout junior high and high school my teachers helped me improve as a writer, but being a good reader was basically expected. I’m thinking this may have something to do with why I despise academic reading, but am pretty good at explaining myself in words.

Brandt provides examples of on-the-job training associated with writing. I think it’s common to emphasize what one can produce (through writing) and forget about what one can take in (through reading). But if these two forms of communication go hand-in-hand, shouldn’t we put just as much time and effort into raising effective readers?

“Creative writing is especially popular among the group doing the least amount of reading, the young.” I suppose I fit in to this description. I have always enjoyed writing creatively much more than reading.

“If reading makes us more informed, independent, innovative, productive and free, what does writing do–accept apparently make us less inclined to read?” At first this sentence made me mad. Writing does so much more than make us less inclined to read. I think writing is more innovative, productive and free than reading. When I read, I feel confined. But when I write, I feel free to express my inner thoughts.

Brandt redeems herself by including the positive feelings of workday writers: “…and the pleasures they derive from what can only be called authorship, including the satisfaction of feeling their words enter and at times alter the environments that surround them.” I can relate to this feeling of satisfaction and pleasure that occurs when I write. I love the quote Brandt includes from a freelance writer. It embodies how I hope to feel as a freelance writer in the future.

I think Brandt did a good job of explaining the relationship between reading and writing and how our world is changing in terms of both.

4 thoughts to “Writers Read and Readers Write”

  1. I enjoyed Brandt’s article, too. But I don’t think I entirely agree with her claim that writing makes you less inclined to read. At least, from my personal experience. Why do you think it is that writing creatively is perceived as more attractive than reading? Is it because, as you mention, we are taught to write better but not taught to read better in school?

  2. You are right about schools emphasizing proficiency in writing over reading. You imply that this emphasis may have influenced your love of writing and your distaste for reading. Can you expand on this? Why do you think this is?

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