“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
~ Larry L. King (1929-2012)
Another of the quotes I have on my desk. This one from King is not the first, nor will it be the last, to emphasize that revision and reading are the foundation of good writing. Writing comes from that initial burst of creativity that is tempered by revision. You’d be surprised what you see in your initial draft after letting it sit for a while: inadvertent errors, misspelled words, important ideas left out, things that don’t make sense. That creative impulse to write is important, but the critical mind is necessary for revision. These are two separate parts of our brain that must work together to achieve the best in our writing.
Good writers are readers. If you don’t read, especially in the genre(s) in which you are writing, you will never find your place among the successfully published. This is not to say that you must emulate others. Originality is key. But how do you know if your work and style is original if you don’t read?