I love to read anything. Every day is a fun learning experience from that moment I turned on my laptop and opened a search engine in my browser. There’s always a topic that hovered in my mind, compelling my interest to explore beyond the knowledge that I have accumulated so far. I have no limits on what to read; be it an article, a forum, a fiction novel, memoir, short stories, poems, news, and others. The thought of learning from what I have read every day widened the scope of my awareness. And still I want to learn more. In the process, I simply discovered that I can get many benefits from being a wide reader. It is fun to read and the information I can get from it, has fueled my desire to write more. To write is to read. This is how I became a writer.
After I wrote my first novel, which is in my utmost care of editing at the moment of writing this article, I realized that every word played significant role to one’s emotions. Embracing my passion being a writer made me become more careful on the words that I used. It’s like I can feel them as I read it. Like for example, the sentence “You are selfish”, spoken by one of my characters, may instigate deeper impact to the emotion of a person. The word “selfish” itself is a big word. If in reality, we say that to a person even for a joke, there is an underlying treat of feeling disturbed as an emotional response to its negativity. My point here is if we read widely, there would be options of words to choose from. And that’s one of the benefits if we read a lot. So what else?
1. It improved my vocab.
Imagine writing a novel that requires 80,000 words for an average, that’s plenty to work out. An aspiring novelist like me needs sufficient foundation of vocabulary to sustain the requirement when expressing through writing the voices in my head. The process wasn’t easy and I believed all novelists tried their best to project the voices using the appropriate words for it. As I wrote the lines in the novel, I imagined that my head was a book and I am scanning for the correct words that best fit to every sentence. I smiled to that thought; because at times it took me a moment to finish my scanning. I just stared blankly in the wall but inside, my mind was busy weighing the words I fetched from my vocabulary cabinet. It is followed with the filtering on which word suits best. So if I don’t read, how can I stock all those words in my head? Glad I love reading, as in a lot.
2. It sharpened my memory.
I am amazed that my memory has been improving these days. Since the day I divulged myself reading every day, my thinking becomes sharp allowing me to achieve sound judgment and decisions on what course of action to take. When my boss asked me about a project that has been implemented long before, I’m surprised that I can still recall the important details of that project. So my answering became flawless. To say that reading can improve the memory by a lot, well I can attest to that. In my case, I can simply spot the difference. Right after I was given the general anesthetic for a medical operation a decade ago, my memory depleted. I guess that was a side effect of the anesthesia. It took me a year being like that. So I helped myself. I bought novel books and started reading. I trained myself to make it a habit and pushed it more to read pages every night before going to sleep. And then one day, I just realized that my habit of reading has turned into a passion. And I didn’t limit myself on what to read. I love to read anything that captured my interest. Every day is a salad of information from daily news, quotes, articles, events, stock markets, tips, short stories and more. Reading is a fun ride for new learning.
3. Resources Finder.
The day that I have decided to go on with my dream to become a published novelist one day, made my every day a learning journey. But I know I must learn it the right way. Slowly but surely, I studied every step all the way to my objective. Getting the right resources where all of these stuffs can be learned is crucial. Anyone from online can post his or her own opinion on how to write a good novel. You just type in the keywords “How to write a good novel” in the search engine and Voila, many links of resources appeared right before your eyes. You just have to click the links to navigate it more. But as the reader, you’ve got to contemplate which one works well for you. I read many opinions but I filtered those that I feel that I can relate to. And my notebook is on standby to keep this information and made my guide. So I don’t stop. I continued my research and moved from one source to another. I was hungry for information to help myself become a better writer. Rules were set there for a reason. Many accomplished authors have followed it carefully because they understood that it is meant to help writers reach their goal. So I willingly followed the same. But my challenge is to allow an open mind and a willing heart to digest all the information that I read. And I will keep reading because it can lead me to my road of success.
4. It protects me from harm.
Nowadays, there are many events happening all over the world. Some were triggered by calamities that were beyond ones’ control. But there were some caused by men’s doing, like wars and the act of inflicting pain to others. Knowing all the events around the globe gave us awareness on what may come to our doorstep at any time of the day. I feel fortunate because I love reading the news. Not only limited to my country’s happening but also, news from other places. Just imagine how lucky we are to have all of the opportunity of knowing this information without leaving our houses. All we have to do is to open our computer or laptop, turn on our WiFi router, and go to a news-center website. Before I go to sleep, I go to my favorite news application that I have installed in my mobile device. Technology advancement made it possible for us. So let’s use it wisely. The fun part is—there would be plenty to talk about in the morning over a cup of coffee with our significant partner or with our friends and colleagues. Getting enough awareness can make us prepare for a possible outcome. Threats brought by an upcoming typhoon, which is common in my country, can be controlled if everybody is aware before it can happen. So be informed all the time. Let’s read what’s happening around us.
5. My mind traveled the world.
I always dream to travel to places that I’ve never been to. But while I cannot do that yet because of my other priorities, I let my mind traveled for me instead. In the process of plotting my first novel, I have been doing lots of research to capture what I am looking for. And that is, a place that best suited for my story genre. Finding the options became handy. Thank heavens, internet made it possible for me. Recording the results in my notebook has allowed my mind to draw the exact image as described from my sources. I looked for details that can help me picture it clearly in my mind, like the intimidating height of the buildings, the smell of the air, the overwhelming green that covered the mountains, the moisture of the soil, the taste of the water, and more. Certainly, there still huge differences between just imagining it compared to being physically present in the place. But with a careful selection on which descriptions to rely on plus reading the current events of the country, it helped me a lot. Knowing the condition of the city, the population, and the tourism, that, has ignited the power of imagination to work for me. Like a kindergarten that has an endless question on how a place looked like in reality, I eagerly pushed myself to get more details. I did more research and diligently, I studied the information that I’ve gathered. It was fascinating as I stocked the knowledge inside my head. As I allowed my focus to settle and let my mind imagine it, pictures started to flow seamlessly. So, why not make reading a habit? Read a lot about your favorite places and let your imagination works for you too. And you will be surprised; your mind will transport you to the place itself. Be resourceful. Read more and let’s allow our mind to travel the world.
6. I learned new cultures.
Learning different cultures is amazing. I am working full-time as an IT head in a firm. So apparently, most of my time was spent there for a living. But this doesn’t keep me away from my passion. I read, I write, and I learn new cultures. Same as reading made me travel the world; it also gave me the opportunity to learn about the people. To learn their ways and culture as well as see the world through their eyes, that is boundless. And it’s always been like “Oh wow, they do that?” or “That’s interesting, maybe I can apply that too.” All these information, I learned it because of my love of reading. At times, I got hooked up by their traditions, beliefs and their ways on showing courtesy to new people they met. I love all those and I respect their ways. It may be different from what I’m used to because my country has our own ways too; but it is a nice learning experience to know the ways of others.
7. I met new people.
Creating a link with people who shared the same passion is such an honor. You can’t imagine the feeling of excitement when you talk to someone who can relate to your passion. As a writer and an aspiring novelist, I would love to meet people who share the same interest. My reading guided me on where to meet them. With the use of Social Medias, the access made it easier. I can get updates on the latest conference events; join groups that shared similar works, joined forums to discuss different experiences, exchange emails, read blogs, and more. And there’s no limit; I can meet new friends worldwide. It is connecting to the same dot that shares the same goal in life, to inspire others. Learning from them is such a humbling experience and I feel grateful to their contribution to our society. And I aim to do the same for others.
8. Stress Reliever.
It is inevitable to feel exhausted especially if we do have a day job. I work from Mondays to Saturdays and Sunday is my only day off. When I got home, I still need to do some house chores and take good care of my family. But it is all about time management. I don’t make it an excuse for not doing what I love to do. With dedication and morale support from those who believes in me, I was still able to finish my first novel. And I can’t stop the momentum. I started writing my second novel while I’m doing the editing of the first. When the night becomes quieter, that’s the time I can allow myself to let loose and feel what I would like to do for that night. I love writing and reading a lot. Both can set my mind free from work pressure. When I read, everything in the background blurs. My favorite part is when I curled myself in bed as I flipped the pages of the novel that I’m reading. It made me feel relaxed. I allowed my mind to drift as I followed where the story goes until I fell asleep. The next morning, I feel refresh and happy to stock the new ideas in my head from my night’s readings.
Reading is a healthy activity for our minds. Let us make it a habit until it becomes a passion. And in the process, who knows, you might unfold a hidden talent and interest that will take you to your dreams. Let’s explore the possibilities. Read.
|Cherry Seniel is the author of ‘A Timeless Heartbeat and The Relic Series‘, the story of defying fate—a love of a lifetime. During the day, she works with her team and applies her knowledge in the field of Information Technology. At night, she speaks with her characters and writes their story.|