Isn’t that a dramatic name for a lot of reading I’ve been doing?
So the idea is, the more you read, the smarter you are. The more you read, the smarter and the better of a writer you’ll be. That’s the idea. With this in mind, I’ve set myself to reading everything. Almost literally everything. Hemingway, Faulkner, Yeats, Shakespeare, Irvine Welsh, and Kurt Vonnegut to name a few. Recently I’ve read or have been reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and Hamlet; Filth by Irvine Welsh; Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut with Slaughterhouse Five next; Principles Of Journalism; Investing For Dummies; Conversational Japanese; and Spanish flashcards (because they count).
And that’s just a few. I’ve started picking up the newspaper when I’m out as well. It’s a pilgrimage, and I believe it’s working as intended. If anything, I’m ripe with new ideas and understandings. The more I read, the more connections I make, and the more I realize that almost everything is a reference to Shakespeare. The multitudinous villainies of allusion do swarm upon him.
You’ll hear it everywhere if you’re asking the question ‘how do I get good at writing?’, which I’ve paraphrased a thousand times in my youth for Google. How can I be a better writer? What do the best writers do? The answer is always the same: Read, read, read. Obvious once you think about it. To get better, study the masters, and also study the crap, and know why one is good and the other is not. That’s my goal, and where I’m at in my writing career.
Luckily I’ve been doing this reading thing steadily for years now. But only recently have I realized the extent to which I must study if I want to accomplish my goals. It’s not all leisure. Only so much information gathering can take place before the head reels in protest.
Wish meh luck, aye?