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Do you write like you read?

once-upon-a-time-1I’ve always loved to read.

And as far back as I remember, I’ve also loved to write.

Are the two connected? If you’re a writer, do you also love to read?

And if writing and reading are connected—I believe they are—does what we read (or don’t read!) affect how we write?

John Wesley, the renowned British pastor in the 1700s, would answer, “Yes!”

In advising a fellow preacher on sermon-writing, Wesley wrote the following (excerpted from The Pleasures of God by John Piper). See if we can apply it to our writing as well.

wesleyWhat has exceedingly hurt you in time past, nay, and I fear, to this day, is want of reading. I scarce ever knew a preacher read so little.

…Hence your talent in preaching does not increase. It is just the same as it was seven years ago.

It is lively, but not deep: there is little variety; there is no compass of thought.

Reading only can supply this, with meditation and the daily prayer. You wrong yourself greatly by omitting this.

Oh begin! Fix some part of every day for private exercises.

…Whether you like it or not, read and pray daily. It is for your life: there is no other way: else you will be a trifler all your days, and a pretty superficial preacher.

Do justice to your own soul: give it time and means to grow. Do not starve yourself any longer.

Like it or not, how we read influences how we write.

If I want to write more godly/spiritually/maturely/(fill in the blank), I need to read godlier, more spiritual, more mature/(fill in the blank) writings.

That reading should always start with the Bible. Read the Author of all authors. Stay in His Word. And branch out from there.

May we be thoughtful about what we read, so we’ll be more thoughtful about what we write. There is a connection.

* * *
If you enjoy writing, do you also enjoy reading?
(My theory: most writers love to read, but not all readers love to write. Right? Wrong?)


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