Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

A Surpising Benefit for the Writer Who Reads

I recently had the opportunity to write an article about Helen Keller for a children’s magazine. (This article was written on spec and I won’t find out until January if they will accept it or not.) As I wrote this article, I included information which was not in any of the online sources I was using.


So where did that information come from? A book which Keller wrote about her life!


I read this book several months ago. I was actually surprised to come across it while at the library one day. As someone who is deaf, I have always been interested in other historical figures who were deaf as well, though Helen Keller was also blind. I loved the movie, The Miracle Worker, so of course I was interested in the book. It opened up a whole other world for me in learning about the kind of life that Helen Keller lived.


Information that was nowhere to be found online, but it was in her book.


This is just another example of how reading books can offer benefits to the writer.


When I was writing an article about Cleopatra, not only did I rely on online sources, but I turned to a biography about her for information. Reading biographies about Thomas Edison also shed light on some of the controversies surrounding the famous inventor.


Reading books can help writers to write better and understand things better, but it can also provide us with information we may not get anywhere else. We may not use this new information right away, but chances are good that it will come in handy later in our writing careers.


So the next time you feel compelled to read a book you had not otherwise planned to read, take that chance and read the book. You never know what new information it will provide you for your life, and your writing.

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