I’ll admit it. I make use of secondary sources. So here’s another link to my dad’s blog, this time on his post Reading the Psalms. For our sake, I thought we could apply the Tips for Reading the Psalms to reading and writing in general. Reading Psalms and reading ourselves is obviously different, so I shift content a bit to get to some food for thought as writing tips.
It’s a nice perk that learning about God and His Word, including His use of language, can affect every area of our life. So, please, don’t think I suggest all reading is like reading God’s Word, but I think it is fair to say what helps us to read, well, helps us to read.
Reading Tips for Writers
- Pay attention to the whole and not just the parts.
- There is more to reading and writing than occasional dabbling can offer.
- Consider overarching matters that become evident, whether or not you intended them to be, and consider whether they are a cohesive and welcome element.
- Read and write out loud, not just silently. (I wrote a guest post on speaking aloud in general here.)
- While it can be nearly impossible for writers to find readers, especially in draft stage, we can at least imagine particular people as an audience we read out loud. We are working for something definitely outside ourselves.
- Remember that there are levels of depth within pronouns and that universal truths can be intimate and/or collective.
- Create an immersive environment within your piece, because detached/jaded/scornful readers are plentiful.
- Don’t try to accomplish everything in a single piece. Add to discourse, culture, imagination, but you needn’t focus on a single, end-all human accomplishment. We are blessed to be a part of the conversation, part of humanity, and part of creation. Only God is all in all.
One more thing: read the Psalms! As a divinely sanctioned hymn and poetry books, it’s an amazing gift to us, as readers, writers, Christians, and sinners.