The more you read, the better you write.

As Mary Kennedy, a nationally known expert in student writing and former colleague at SUNY, Cortland said in a recent phone interview, “There is no definitive study that has proven conclusively that student writing has declined although many writing teachers complain that they’ve noticed it.” However, she added that there is increasing evidence that students “don’t read” and that their vocabularies and, as a result, depth of comprehension of texts that have a college-level vocabulary is also declining. The percentage of “proficient readers” in the adult population in this country is at 13%. There is certainly a significant connection with good writing and good reading.

Full Article: Educating for Democracy: Good Writing — The Way It Used to Be?

There is a stark difference between writing done 40 to 50 years ago to those done by students in today’s day and age. And the cause can be directly traced to the lack of reading.

The digital age is killing the literacy age.

We don’t read anymore, instead we take in information via flash and bang.

If you want to be a good writer, then you have to (first) be a great reader. This aspect has been highlighted by Nicholas Sparks when he emphasized that a writer is also a reader of the craft and also of works by other writers.

Writers are most times researcher and reader. I know for one, that Stephen King is a maven of information. Stephen King picks up on little things such as experimental technologies and incorporates them into his books.

Read well and you will write well.

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Emo-centric writer at heart.

My friends laugh cause I take up my day, listening to “emo-songs” and posting my findings on FaceBook. It helps my writing. Stephen King listens to heavy metal when he writes and Mitch Albom plays in a band. Writers express themselves through their writings but draw strength and inspiration from the things they love. For me, it’s emotional Indonesian or Korean love songs. I love the music videos that accompany these songs cause it tells the story and they are great sources for stories.

What these songs do is generate the “What if?” questions and these questions spark the quest for an answer and the telling of a story. Stories and plots can be driven by the quest for an answer and I see this pattern in Paulo Coelho’s books.

So it could be horror movies, baking cakes, eating burgers by the roadside or just listening to big-band music. If it’s inspires you to write the stories you enjoy writing, so be it. Whatever that inspires you to write use it to your advantage and make it your strength.

Happy writing!

Two years brewing, two weeks to write.

There’s a story in my iBook that’s been sitting there for the pass two (2) years. And week, having one of those moments of pure decisiveness, I’ve decided to finish it. I’ve set aside two weeks for me to write out the whole novel. The main parts of the story are in place and yes, the ending has been written. The first chapter is done, so all I’ve to do is fill in the gaps of the missing chapters.

Two weeks to write a story that has been brewing for two years. Impossible? Not so I found out.

Paulo Coelho writes his books in non-stop stretches of two weeks. His stories brew in his head for years and when the signs are right, he sits down and writes things out. You’ll find this in his autobiography A Warrior’s Life. I picked up a copy and devoured the book in three days.

Why let a story brew for years? To add flavor and character. Like wine, a story gets better as it age. It comes out as more polish, more refined and more elegant. The voice I had when I first wrote this story, two years ago was boyish, childish even, but the voice that would end it will be older; more matured.

Now, if only I can state a day when I actually would start the two weeks count down.

2nd Book Slated for Publishing Next Month

My publisher finally came back to me about my 2nd book. I’ve got a tight deadline, editing the manuscript and getting it back to them by next Monday (16th). So I’ve got a busy weekend, reading through the manuscript and making changes to all that I’ve written. That’s a 98 page Word document to read through.

But I’m happy.