The other day, I was talking to one of my younger cousins about his aspiration to become a writer in film. A friend of his parents, who has become something of a non-blood related uncle, had apparently told him that in order to succeed in the screenwriting industry, it’s important to get into the habit of writing regularly — becoming prolific from an early age can be beneficial in the same way that starting to save money from a young age can produce a large pool of savings in the future.
I totally agree with this sentiment; although I’m certainly not the best example of a prolific aspiring writer working towards her future, I’ve certainly been made well aware of the importance of writing every day in order to improve.
But what I found interesting in following up with my cousin about his aspirations to be a writer was his insistence that reading as frequently as he writes is not really important in helping him develop in his writing.
. . . .
But hearing a seventeen-year-old’s idea that watching film is more important to developing as a screenwriter made me stop and think for a second — my cousin kind of had a point. It probably does feel more beneficial for him to watch films if he aspires to write them than to engage with the exhausting tirade of classic literature thrown at him in his high school English classes.
. . . .
So to hear my cousin’s distaste for reading books struck me as strange — why would someone who feels inspired to write, like me, not feel the same pull toward reading? How else other than reading can you familiarize yourself with the tiny nuances of grammar, the fragility and importance of dialogue and scene description?
. . . .
Obviously, as someone who loves reading books, I would argue, very important. But as sad as it makes me to admit this, I can see the point of those who claim there isn’t time or they don’t have energy to devote their time to reading anything longer than a New York Times article.
Link to the rest at Medium