They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And over the centuries our society has given proof to these words. The best and brightest in all fields have continually turned to established experts for advice and inspiration. And this practice has resulted in some pretty great stuff. Otis Redding’s recording of “Respect” catapulted Aretha Franklin to stardom. Van Gogh’s Starry Night became a model for millions of replicas, and the 1983 Scarface we all know and love—1932 remake.
So why don’t we as writers do the same? We work tirelessly to produce quality content while too often not knowing what it really is that makes it quality. We forget that writing is a craft; that it can be studied just like any other. And while left to our own devices we may be able to string together a coherent sentence, can we really hope to achieve excellence without knowing what it looks like?
It doesn't take Sherlock to uncover this mystery—all it takes is a good book. Reading is the easiest, most effective way to improve your writing. Yet many bloggers fail to see this connection and pass reading off as a waste of time. Here it is in black and white: