How a Reader Turns Into a Writer



by Daniel A. Roberts

What turns a reader into a writer?

We must understand that all writers are, and will always be, a reader first.  It’s the primary ingredient, as we chose at one point in our lives to be a writer.  For those who juggle words through the smithy of the human imagination, to produce a set of words that creates new worlds, along with the beings who populate them, that first flash of insight comes in different variations.

For some, they want a better ending.  They can visualize it.  Another writer might want to create a new niche for their point of view.  Yet another may want to dazzle a genre in a manner never before seen, with the hopes of sparking a new trend.  Inside all of these situations, these people have formed their opinions and gleaned their facts from reading.

There is that rare individual who will create a novel because it’s something they would want to read for themselves, as nobody has ever written that kind of book before.

The main question, however, hasn’t been truly answered yet.  I’ve addressed the influences, but the actual grain of change is a different matter entirely.  What turns a reader into a writer?  It’s a combination of several factors.  Like some recipe for baking. There are many ways to bake different kinds of cookies, but the method of mixing and cooking remains mostly unchanged.

First ingredient is courage.  It takes pure courage to put something you’ve written before the eyes of another human being.  Hearing your creation dressed down by a critic, no matter how friendly or helpful, can be raw on the nerves.  The vision is tarnished.  The words no longer glow on the page.  Your mind has a new, dark cloud that now doubts your own talent for writing.  Overcoming that level is a matter of introspection, as the courage needs to be generated by the writer.

Second ingredient is boldness.  A writer must be bold enough to assemble ideas in a manner that leads another human being down a predestined path.  If the writing itself is fractured, the style comes out feeling lost, there is no boldness, no directive that leads a reader in the direction the writer hopes for.  One must be bold.  One must lead as such, or the novel won’t come out right.

Third ingredient is imagination.  A writer must possess an imagination to create, or they run the risk of assembling a novel filled with words from other writers.  As such, they can doom their own careers, so they must come up with their own style.  Their own worlds. Their own unique voice, as they master their stories for the enjoyment of other readers.

The final ingredient is love.  No, this isn’t some cheesy way to get girls to follow me on Facebook.  Love is something a writer must have when they are creating their novels. They have to love writing, they have to love their genre, they must love their characters, or all is lost from the beginning.  Writers love to write, because they fell in love with reading first.  Pay close attention to this, because like any kind of love, writers can fall out of love with their work.  When that happens, their fans know it, and it shows in future novels.

There are other ingredients, like there are for cookies.  The basic recipe is always there, but when we add what is unique from our personalities, we change the flavors of those well-written cookies we call novels, and the more variety we have, the better it is for the multitudes of readers who want to sample that tasty novel all for themselves.



Guest post contributed by Daniel A. Roberts. Daniel has written several short stories, most of them free, in between the various novels he has written. Check out his website for more of his work.


16 thoughts on “How a Reader Turns Into a Writer”

  1. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    I’ve always loved to read and enjoy a variety of genres. Also, I’ve always thought about writing my own books. I even have a few ideas for children’s stories. But, I was a nurse first. Reading fit in nicely, but I rarely found time to write other than the occasional short story. About 20 years ago I finally wrote a novel. At the time I thought it was great, but after reviewing it in recent years, it’s actually a disaster. I have started working on revising and editing it. I’m not certain where I fit in with his article–mine issues were more about time and desire.


  2. I enjoyed this post, although I do not fit into your reader turned writer pattern. I am just the oppisite. I hated reading and never did it out of pleasure, only necessity. I began journaling while grieving the death of my son. At times a journal is the only outlet for your deepest hurts and questions. I journaled for years before letting anyone read what I had written. That led to me writing a book and starting a blog and in the end, reading the work of others. But I guess that’s not the first time in my life I did things in a backward order.


  3. I was an avid reader growing up, but as I graduated from children’s books to adult stuff I read some truly horribly written stories.
    A classic case of ‘I-can-write-better-than-this-itis! 😀


  4. I like the various ingredients for becoming a writer. It completely makes sense that writers start off as readers and fall in love with books, then want to create their own.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.