Do You Write What You Read?

At some point during my writing career, I realized that my writing is completely unrelated to what I read. This seems very strange to me since it would make more sense if I wrote genres and styles in which I had reading experience. But I am quite the opposite. The only similarity between my writings and readings is that symbolism is ever present.

An example of the disconnect between my writings and readings lies in novels. I am a fan of both classic and modern/contemporary literature, the latter of which is harder to find. Both of these types of readings are in novel format. The only novels I have written so far are science fiction/action, which I don’t read. It’s fascinating to me that there can be such a strong disconnect between things that I think are so closely related for writers.

Do you notice anything like that with yourself? Do you write what you read, or are the two things completely unrelated for you, too?

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6 comments on “Do You Write What You Read?

  1. Actually yes I do notice that I tend to do this a lot. There will be some times when I tend to completely go about it on my own, but other times I feel that I am helplessly stuck in the cycle of rewriting and paraphrasing.

  2. I think I’m the opposite, actually… things I write sometimes unintentionally mutate into things I’m reading- at least when it comes to tone and style. I’ve been writing and watching movies more than anythings else, lately, and when I start a new project, I’ll watch or read a bunch of similar things to see what’s been done before.

    • I totally know what you mean because I used to have the same thing happen when I wrote – it would always turn into something I’d already read or seen in a movie. Along the same lines, I used to really enjoy projects in college where you had to write in the style of a famous author. I did Chaucer once and it really gave me an idea of how difficult various writing styles can be to achieve. Did you have to do something like that in your film major?

      • I don’t think they ever gave us an assignment like that… but people did copy other styles if they needed to. I did a project that was supposed to look like an old silent movie, so I watched a lot of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin while I was writing it. It’s surprising how much ground you can cover without any dialogue…

      • Yes, I think things like that prove a person’s talents.

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