My apologies to all for all the time gone by between posts. It's been an unusually busy year and I'm still in recovery mode. I am going to be posting a series of short messages every few days for a while, now that I have some time.
I read the other day a lament on writers: everyone wants to write nowdays but nobody wants to read. Of course it's an exaggeration for effect, but it needs to be addressed. Anyone who wants to be a writer must read a lot. Whether one is aiming for "serious literature" or for a trendy demographic group such as teen fiction, young adult fiction, or Christian fiction, one must read.
All good writers are readers, but not all readers are writers. Authors love and need readers, but they got to be writers by reading. Certainly writing comes much more easily to some people than to others. Another way of saying that is that writing well takes talent. Like all talent, though, it has to be developed. Authors need to have read a great deal and they need coaching, that is, readers, editors, and good writers who read what they produce and give them feedback.
What should you read? A bit of everything and as widely as possibly. Only that way can the potential writer find a genre (poetry, novel, story, essay, etc.), themes he or she cares about, and the writer's own voice.