the circular runner

Writers, get your reading glasses on!!!

In writers & books on July 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Usually, I save the links for the end of the post, but this article by Ted Genoways is more important than what I have to say. His article draws a connection between the decline of literary journals and how writers of literary fiction are losing their way and not writing fiction that engages the world. Obviously, there are many writers who don’t fit into this category. Sam Park’s blog often hosts serious discussion by writers who love to read and who support each other and their work. But at the same time, there are many writers who don’t seem concerned or at least, don’t make the time to read other people. One need not go further than Nathan Bransford’s blog. In a post from June, Nathan asked his readers to tell him what they did more: read or write. Most readers unapologetically said they wrote more. I understand that many of us are really busy and we need our precious time to write, but at the same time, what are we writing for if we can’t stop and value reading? The more I think about this, the more bothered I get.

How can we write if we don’t read? If we don’t read, we don’t learn. We don’t gain ideas about craft and we don’t learn about the world outside our own concerns. This is a problem, I think. At least, we writers should think again before we forego the lit mag to sit and write our own stuff. If we don’t support these magazines (and each other), there will be no outlets for those stories and novels and poems we are all working so hard to come up with.


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