Good Writer =/= Good Reader?

Is being a good reader required to be a good writer?
Surprisingly no. You do not need to be good at reading to be a good writing. Some of the most famous writings were the work of people who were literate and passed their stories down through orally. Homer, the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, is considered by many to have been blind.
This is part of the reason that most states require both a reading/comprehension and a writing course for teacher licensure. They are two different things.

Now does being a good reader help? Well it certainly doesn’t hurt. Being well read gives you the advantage of having several sources to draw from when it comes to organizing your ideas. If you’ve read multiple books, chances are, you know how to write and organize your thoughts in a way that works, because you’ve seen it done before, many times.
Another advantage is that you’re most likely a lot more learned when it comes to spell, grammar, punctuation, and paragraph creation. This part is a source of contention however. Many would say that this is the job for an editor.

I can understand both sides of this argument, but I would make the case that while, yes it is an editor’s job to weed out spelling, grammar, and potential continuity errors, editors are human, just like the writer. They can make mistakes and they can miss something. This is true even if you have more than one person edit your writing. Case and point: The less mistakes you make, the less chance there is that the editor will miss something.

How is it not necessary though?
Well think of it this way, can an illiterate person sit down and tell a child a riveting story that he or she had heard from their parent? Can they organize their thoughts and use their imagination? Yes! However, they would need someone to write the story down for them. Now this is an extreme example, but it goes to the point that being able to write and tell a story doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with reading well.


2 thoughts on “Good Writer =/= Good Reader?

  1. lorellepage says:

    I have only learned through reading! Without it, I would be lost. But then again, I haven’t read the classics…


    • StCyril says:

      Absolutely, for some people that’s the best way of going about it. For me, it was always hard to pick up a book because I didn’t want to be disappointed which so often happened.


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