I like writing, but not reading.

  1. Guys -- I shouldn’t have to say this but Garth Merenghi (who has 'written more than [he's] read' is a fictional character.

  2. Have you ever considered writing for something that isn’t a novel or short story? You may be a storyteller, but you haven’t found your medium yet. Board games, ttrpgs, video games, tv, movies, theater, etc, etc all use writers. Surely you enjoy one of those mediums. Have you tried writing for that?

  3. Generally reading is still instrumental in those mediums. Like reading screenplays is essential to writing them well.

  4. Yet, reading is so fundamental to doing this properly. I don't doubt OP might enjoy those, but he'll miss out on a lot of things regarding this hobby if he does not read.

  5. Maybe he should try different forms of reading. Using variety like audiobooks, screenplay, or trying different positions/places to read can help him find his niche.

  6. If you want to write for fun, as a hobby, you don’t need to read. You can improve at your own pace using other methods like consuming other media types or taking classes. I hate watching any kind of sport but I like playing sports with friends when the weather is nice. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing primarily as a hobby. It’s still fun and you can still improve at it without reading.

  7. I guess that i do not have a time limit on me, so i can, at least for now, keep is as a hobby and improve at my own pace. Thanks you for you suggestion.

  8. Something that's the source of a lot of confusion in this sub is that there are two types of writers here. People who just enjoy writing for the sake of it, even if they might not care about reading, and people who write for an audience, for whom reading is a necessity if they wish for their audience to appreciate their work.

  9. It's not that strange. Unless you're reading something very engrossing - and you can't always know that beforehand - writing is a more engaging activity, ie easier to focus on, and requires less cognitive effort to keep your attention on what you're doing.

  10. As a published writer, let me say I do feel for you and get it. I go through periods of time when I just don’t read and all my writer buddies are posting all the books they’re reading and asking me what I’m reading, and I got nothing. Sometimes the flavor for reading dries up—if you have depression or anxiety, it can make reading feel like torture—the attention span and concentration just aren’t there—and even if you don’t have depression or anxiety, we live in a world where attention span has been abbreviated to the point where even instant gratification takes too long. I would suggest you try to get on the reading horse however, as has been mentioned here—start small, pick something you have an interest in, something not too taxing, something that makes you want to turn the page. Writing is a craft, and reading is part of honing the craft—what reading provides is the opportunity to see how others use language, build characters, approach sentence structure, incorporate dialogue, pace the plot. You need those skills, and while some will be instinctual to you, in order to evolve, you’re gonna need more exposure to methodology. If you just want to write to entertain yourself, then sure, don’t read. If you want to write to entertain others, you have to internalize the craft through a range of approaches that are often absorbed through exposure to reading books.

  11. Well, what is the intention of your writing? If you write exclusively for yourself, then go for it. If you, someone who is not interested in reading words of others, wants to write for an audience, then well… why do you expect anyone to want to read what you have to say? Listening to music isn’t the only part of learning to play an instrument, but it’s pretty significant. Maybe look into anthologies of short stories. Pick and choose what sparks your interest and expand from there.

  12. The question OP has to ask themselves is: "do I want to be a writer in the strictest sense--of novels, novellas, short stories, scripts, etc.?"

  13. You’re not going to become skilled at something without learning from skilled people, so reading is a prerequisite to becoming a writer.

  14. It depends on what you mean by "I don't like to read." You're posting on Reddit, a long text-based website (as opposed to the photo-based Instagram or 280 character limit Twitter). Do you like to read social media posts? Articles? Research papers? Do you like screen time?

  15. Indeed. The vast majority of stuff I read is in an academic or journalistic style. Rarely do I actually sit down and read a novel, which is what most people picture when they hear "you need to read." But nevertheless, I write and edit for a living. Sure, sometimes I struggle with my stories sounding too clinical, since I'm more used to that style, but writing skills are extremely applicable.

  16. Some of these actually hit me hard because I’ve worked in tv for years, made my own documentaries and produced tv shows but I don’t really like watching tv/movies a lot because (probably due to my adhd) I can’t just sit still and focus on something for more than about 5 minutes. There have been movies and tv shows I’ve loved but I really wish I liked the reality of watching movies more? In a similar way reading also demands a lot of my patience unless I’m really invested in the subject (99% of the time non-fiction) while as a kid I read 1 or 2 books a day??

  17. Maybe read about things that interest you the most and you can start there. Reading is like writing. You don’t need to read a whole book in one sitting or browse every articles you can find. You can just read one passage or two and that could be enough to stimulate your curiosity to think of different things or scenarios to write.

  18. What many new writers and posters don’t get, is that wanting to write is not the same thing as wanting to write a novel that others will enjoy. By all means, journal. It’s healthy, many should do it. But that doesn’t mean you’re putting together a commercial story that everyone people should read.

  19. I'm going to go tough here. To love writing without loving reading is narcissism. If you don't love the art form, why practice it?

  20. Seriously. There was a post about a month ago ranting about the writers who self proclaim their hatred of reading and a surprising amount of people were arguing and calling people elitist because a video game/movie inspired story is a great idea and reading was boring in school and...etc. Ugh.

  21. Sorry, but it's impossible. You can't be good at something you don't know. My advice here is: read about what you want to write... various titles, many authors, a lot of styles. You sure will find something interesting.

  22. Don’t listen to people telling you that you can learn to write without reading. It’s literally not possible. You cannot learn a skill without seeing how a skill is done. You cannot learn to cook (to a professional level) if you’ve not seen it done correctly.

  23. Unfortunately, there really is no way to get around reading, if you want to write. It's akin to wanting to play basketball without knowing the rules.

  24. Reading lots of fiction will undoubtedly make you a better writer, especially in regards to pacing and structuring a story. But you know what? Who cares! Read as much as you want, and write as much as you want. If you're not a fan of writing full stories, maybe try storytelling through other mediums instead (being a dungeon master got me into writing much quicker than any book did)

  25. Sure. While you are at it, you can also pick up a guitar, pretending you know what you are doing—but either way you won’t fool anyone.

  26. I am not saying that i would not try to learn storytelling and things alike. It's just that i do not learn much just reading. I prefer being active than passive in learning. I understand that both are important but wanted to know how important was the passive part.

  27. Since people have been suggesting audiobooks as an alternative: If it wasn't good to begin with – by exclusively listening to audiobooks, your spelling and punctuation will stay shit.

  28. As others mentioned it depends; as a hobby? Sure. As a career? No. Maybe find another medium like comic books or something, like another comment suggested

  29. Personal theory, writers who don't read are creative people who have no creative skills and see writing as the cheapest and easiest avenue to pursue their creative endeavors.

  30. It is possible to write well if you aren't currently reading much, but very difficult if you have never read much. Reading is just that helpful for learning the craft.

  31. Why does this question keep coming up in the sub? Writing is reading. You cannot write without reading and you cannot write WELL without doing more reading than writing. Others have quoted the Grand Master of Horror so I won't beat a dead horse, bur yes you MUST read if you want to write well. If you don't care to write poorly, by all means avoid reading. If it is the actual act of reading you don't like, I would suggest audiobooks.

  32. It's confusing that so many people want to pursue a craft they don't even enjoy. Why would you want to write if you don't even like reading? People really think it's that easy. SMH.

  33. You never see people say “I want to be a musician but I don’t like listening to music” or “I want to be a filmmaker but I don’t like watching movies.” If you don’t like reading, you’re not going to like writing and you certainly won’t be good at it. Find something else to daydream about.

  34. I might be a tad bit late to this thread, but I wanted to voice my perspective. I also hate reading, but I enjoy putting things into words, conceptualizing ideas and creating stories. I say that I hate reading not because I don't enjoy it, but because I struggle with it due to some factors (like ADHD, to cite one). I'm a very creative person, and seeing/reading what others have written helps feed that aspect.

  35. Not reading is always going to hold you back. Try other forms of writing like someone else mentioned and be on the look for good stories in any medium.

  36. As a reader, I have no desire to read the work of a writer who doesn't read. I've seen the results of that before, and they have never been good.

  37. If it doesn't already, your writing will not only begin to reflect the fact that you don't read, but that fact will also be apparent to almost anyone you expect to read your work.

  38. Write whatever you consume. If you watch movies, writes movies, if you watch TV, write TV, etc. There’s no way to be good at an artform you don’t appreciate. If you don’t read prose then you can’t write it. They can’t be separated.

  39. How much time do you think painters spend looking at the work of other painters? How much time do you think musicians spend listening to music? How many movies do you think a film maker watches a year?

  40. I have a similar situation - I love to write but have little time and extremely little focus to read something- especially if it’s a more difficult piece or something dense. When I find something that grips me, I can barely put the book down but I can easily count how many books I’ve read in my life, mostly from school.

  41. Audiobooks. I’m not interested in hearing the “audiobooks aren’t reading” bull either. I used to love reading but as I’ve gotten older I find it harder and harder, ADHD doesn’t help. If I didn’t listen to audiobooks I don’t know if I could read at all these days

  42. Audiobooks are great to begin with, I think, but an aspiring writer should eventually actually 'read' in order to work on spelling, punctuation and sentence structure.

  43. I second this. Audiobooks are great for getting a feel for how stories are told and especially for getting a feel of the "voice" of stories you find interesting. If you're an instinctive learner, especially, Audiobooks can be really useful.

  44. Honestly, I don’t fucking get it. There’s not a pro basketball player who doesn’t watch basketball. There’s no chef who doesn’t study their craft. There’s no educator who isn’t continuing their studies.

  45. Sir, i did not wish to insult your carrer of choice or that writing is easy. If so, forgive me. What i wanted to understand was how important it was, since i do not belive i am the type of person to learn like this, but rather by doing something with my hands and redoing using critiques until it is better.

  46. I think that, in your ridiculously rude answer to a simple and well intentioned question, you forgot to notice one of the main differences between you and OP. OP says he likes writing and he'd like to get better at it, he never said he'd like to be a professional writer. And even if he'd like to become one, one day; he hasn't got the time of a professional writer in his hands. You, as a professional writer, have the possibility of spending 8 hours every day (I assume 8 because this is a typical work day) writing. Exclusively writing. After that, you can continue writing if you feel like it, of course. Or you can go on a walk, or sit down to read, or take care of your family or anything else that people usually do after work. On the other hand, people who like writing as a hobby or are just trying to start, they do not have this privilege. They need to go to a 8 hours shift that probably has nothing to do with writing, and then, once they are back home they have to choose between: - finally sitting down to write the story that has been running around their head all day, OR - pick a book that for them, at that moment, may not be as interesting. Not to mention people then need to do all the other things I mentioned you do after work, like taking care of the family, walking, etc.

  47. The real question is have you tried reading different style? Or have just read boring school books chosen by degenerate teacher who shove the same dry book every year?

  48. I tried looking for diferent books, but still did not found one that could truly fish me inside. For exemple, i tried hobbit with a lot of hype but could not finish it. Again, perhaps you are right and i am out of luck.

  49. Hey guys I really hate listening to music, but do you guys think i could pick up rhythm guitar? I mean, I just love playing the guitar but not sure how it fits within a song because well, I don't listen to music.

  50. I will say this, hopefully I won’t get downvoted, reading is a construct for the mind to imagine. It consists of actual words to create an imaginary world where these things exist. What writers do are write those into being itself, without having pictures, sounds, or anything that requires proof of their existence to make it easier.

  51. I hate to break it to you, but to be a good writer you need to read lots of books (or listen to audiobooks). You learn by what others do right and wrong. It’s possible you haven’t found what you like to read but I’d suggest you keep trying.

  52. What I'm most confused about is why would you expect other people to read your work if you're not going to read other people's work?

  53. This always bugs me for some reason. It seems like trying to take the easiest path to a thing. Especially with all the ways to consume books now.

  54. No. No, you can’t. Think of it as learning how to write code without having any basic knowledge of programming.

  55. You can mine the reading you've done already, such as the works you were forced to read in school. It's a start, but the mine will play out in time.

  56. Yes, i can. I used to like reading as i child but lost touch with the habit as time went on. Today i am trying to learn how to write storys and, and everyone says, i need to relearn it. I do not enjoy reading most books because i have a problem imagining situations, like long descriptions of places, or because things are way too slow to be engaged with. I do enjoy a more action based narrative, since i can imagine it better. Still, i have a problem getting into the book than any other form of media, so when people say that i should analize how the author writes, i'll definitly not enjoy the book since i'll keep getting out of it. I wished for someway have the joy and learn at the same time.

  57. Consider that you may need to switch reading genres. Sometimes it's not about reading, but about the topic. How much nonfiction are you into? Ever consider reading stuff from the 1800s?

  58. I realy enjoy some non-fiction, like teaching books (in this case, with a more writing focus). I am thinking of switching genres, as a lot said so. For your last question, yes.

  59. There are many forms of storytelling. Reading is only one of them. Take in stories in whatever ways most appeal to you. It feeds your understanding of story, just for one positive reason.

  60. I mean, you don't need to be a religious reader to write. ANYONE can write, especially if they don't intend to become professional. But if your goal is to hone your craft, that becomes way more difficult when you don't study examples of it.

  61. I think it’s possible to write and not read. (Much). I write dark fantasy (right now) and don’t actually read that much of it. Most of it is shit. I have a few authors I truly like and I’ve learned enough from those few, maybe a dozen greats.

  62. If you want to write well, you have to read, because reading is how you learn what does and doesn’t work on the page. There’s no way around it. Sorry.

  63. You can learn good storytelling from a variety of sources, but to learn good prose, like learn how to write better, reading works best.

  64. Op. I am an artist and for a very long time I didn't really care much about looking at 'art' I prefer music and video games. I didn't like taking art classes because I don't like people telling me what to do. I don't want 'correct technique' or 'good art' to homogenized my style. As a result my art is very unique and very much its own thing. I really love my style and am starting to find some real success.

  65. I wouldn’t say you’re strange. I don’t like reading. I force myself to read when I can. You cannot get around it. You need to read the style that you want to write. I found ways to make it easier, like reading visual novels, for example. It doesn’t replace the real thing, but it’s a start. You can try “reading” podcasts, text-heavy video games, etc. Make it easier for yourself.

  66. I have the same problem. I read sparingly but I write all the time. There's lots of YouTube channels that break down why certain things in writing work while others don't using movies and TV as a reference.

  67. No, you need to read. Threads like this get made once a month minimum and the reality is that you can't get good at writing if you don't read anything and I'd question why you want to write if you're not interested in reading it afterwards.

  68. You could always audibly record your ideas or story and then hire a ghost writer to actually make it into a book! Lots of ways around traditional writing nowadays, and there's nothing wrong with that. No artist is the same, therefore different methodology is obligatory.

  69. I’m in the same boat - For me it’s that I’m dyslexic and reading is in some ways unnatural. Audio books are the cure to this particular challenge in my case. You might want to give that a try (Overdrive app and your library card info- get a card at a big city if you live in a small town).

  70. That's the most ridiculous thing I've read all day. It's like if I wanted to be a house framer and posted in a construction sub about how I can achieve my dream without ever looking at how a house is framed.

  71. Reading is definitely important for learning about writing. However, you might also try listening to audiobooks and watching movies. I would say that even if you’re going through a patch where it’s hard to find books you enjoy, you can still learn something from the ones you don’t. Though, I think we tend to prefer books that are a joy to experience and don’t feel like work to read.

  72. I think a lot of people will say this is foolish, but I actually know what you’re talking about. I used to read voraciously as a child and young adult, but I don’t think I’ve actually read a book cover to cover in over 10 years. That hasn’t stopped me writing two YA and three fantasy novels, most of which people (kind of) seem to like.

  73. It's not strange. It's lazy. You're not a strange guy, you are a dullard who is afraid to grow his mind through the practice of reading, something that is not easy to do. It's like saying, I don't like going to gym and working out. No. What you mean is, going to gym and working out takes a lot of work and commitment, and you just don't want to do it.

  74. Old post, but I'll update. I'm tempted to say "Shut up" because it seems like most commentators are forcing you to read at all costs.

  75. If you hate reading that will significantly impact your ability to judge your own work critically and I imagine make it incredibly hard to effectively convey your message through a novel.

  76. I am in awe of the consideration and sympathy most of the other reactions to this exhibit, but I couldn't live up to the standard myself. To me it seems obvious that someone who doesn't love reading can't really love writing either. Perhaps you love the idea of writing, or being a writer; perhaps you flatter yourself that you have a lot to say, many experiences in your life to draw from, or a great imagination. This of course may be perfectly true, but to love writing — the game of words, the aesthetics of expression — while not having the ability to appreciate the art of anyone else in a long line of masterly performers... That surely cannot be. That said, taste, as well as skill, can be acquired. Moreover, if you want a creative outlet, there are options aplenty besides literature. Whatever you do, I sincerely hope you will be able to enjoy it for its own sake, intrinsically.

  77. You have to do some reading. I like writing but not reading just like you. The blessing I have is that I'm able to mimic (to some extent) what I've read. Plus I learned and retained the basics of writing from when I was a Little Bitty Chil'ren. If you take some time to read some things, that gives your subconscious, the templates and road maps to developing those writing skills. the next thing is take those skills to develop a writing style. Personally I like to right in first person, with a natural conversational flow but still keep an air of elegance in the word flow. Oh and remember in your dialog, try to avoid, simply using "he said, she said, I said, they said. " Try to use more descriptive words while expressing the dialog. ex. "he exclaimed, she admitted, he lamented." Makes it more colorful and less monotonous. Hope that helps.

  78. I don't think it's the worst thing. It's not OPTIMAL, but so what? Unless you are aiming to be the GOAT writer and just want to do what you like, then do what you like.

  79. A lot of people here say you can’t be a “good” writer if you don’t read. Well, I beg to differ. Writing is a form of expression. It’s a way to communicate your ideas. So, if you have an idea, a thought, or a story you want to tell, then you can write. You don’t have to get fancy about it. Just write the way you talk—but more polished and more nuanced because you have time to refine it.

  80. This is all wrong, reading 100% makes you a better writer. Budding filmmakers watch tons of movies to refine their craft, as do musicians with music, chefs with food. It is ludicrous to expect to be a good writer without reading. If you don't like reading, then I suggest you choose a different profession.

  81. It just doesn't make much sense to me that's all. Reading and writing are inextricably intertwined, there is no disentangling them from each other. It would be very strange to see a filmmaker who hates watching movies, a musician who hates listening to music, a chef who hates eating food. And yet somehow the writer who doesn't like reading is given a pass.

  82. Apply your approach to drawing into writing. Just every time you're wondering if you can do it for writing, replace it with drawing.

  83. I already answered you and said that you assumed that the reason i don't wanna learn how to draw is because it is harder than writing, but i just don't like drawing.

  84. I sample a lot of books, but rarely find myself enjoying them enough to devote the hours to reading the whole thing. I read a lot of plot summaries of classics when I find the prose uninspiring. I am more likely to read a whole novel outside the genre I write. And most importantly I read loads of entire manuscripts that I swap with my critique partners. I think for developing writers this last activity is more valuable than reading "finished" published stories since it is the best opportunity to read critically and actively think about ways to improve the story. You also get to interact with the author and bounce ideas around, and get feedback on your own writing at the same time.

  85. Still, i wish to understand better how to remove my language vices and to express everything better. Either way, i'll keep your advice in my mind.

  86. IMO you have to consume some kind of media in order to know what goes into a good story. Like OP, I'm not that into reading but writing is important both as a hobby and source of income. My niche for money tends to be blog articles written as a freelancer, and even that has just been limited to firearms, a topic I have a fair bit of knowledge about.

  87. Maybe you could use what you read as reference for what you don't like, what you find boring, to hone your writing style better?

  88. Get into audiobooks. Honestly it’s a great way to take in a book while you’re walking or washing up or whatever. It’s not a replacement for reading off a page, but for me it means I experience many more stories than I would reading books . And the more stories you immerse yourself in, the sooner you’ll start to see the patterns in how those stories unfold.

  89. I don't enjoy reading because I am mildly dyslexic. I found that reading with the aid of an audio book set to 1.75x to keep my reading grounded, helps a great deal and takes the teeth pulling feeling away.

  90. Maybe give audiobooks a try 🤔 a big part of writing is learning how to tell a story, which is easiest to do if you read a lot of stories, but no one ever said you actually have to sit down and read them. I listen to audiobooks in the car and while I’m exercising, and I still pick up on the writing skills of the author from that. Of course, an audiobook is only going to be interesting if you can find a story you like… If that doesn’t work, there’s always other forms of reading you could try that aren’t traditional books. Japanese manga, video games, movie scripts, etc. The most important part about learning how to write by reading books is storytelling, tho style and flow are crucial too. Personally, I think you can pick all of those up from the above media + a lot of practice

  91. Presumably you like your own writing, right? Otherwise you wouldn't be doing it. So try and track down things that are similar to what you write.

  92. I’ve heard some people write what they read. Doing it as writing practice and just to read in general. Maybe try that out?

  93. Elderly lifelong reader here. Reading always posed a physical challenge, it was very tiring. I always had a preference for visuals and just thought "I must be some kind of artist type."

  94. I was in a similar situation. I loved writing but haven't been catching up with reading. Goodreads however has helped me with that with reading groups and marking which books you'd like to read. It's a great community. I'd highly recommend it.

  95. I read a book every day but feel useless at writing myself. Maybe if we buy a big trench coat we can merge and be a fully capable consussieur of the written word haha

  96. You have 2 ears and 1 mouth to listen the double that you speak, its the same with the writing and reading

  97. I'm a lazy reader myself, having some struggles with staying mindful and resisting distraction. My brain craves constant noise, and I'm trying to resist that tendency as much as I can. Sadly, reading is an activity that is supremely narrow in the focus it requires. It requires me to focus in a very thin stream of input and produce a lot of output - and that can be really taxing to my Millennial brain.

  98. The thing is, reading is like solving mathematical problems that have already been solved. It makes your writing tool set larger and is a good practice if you know how to read as a writer.

  99. If you like writing there’s nothing to stop you from writing for fun. But you’re not gonna get better if you don’t like reading

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