Read What You Write

Unquestionably there is value in the process of writing in itself; previously muddy ideas are clarified and new ideas emerge by bringing them on paper.

However, writing is arguably more valuable if what is written is also read (and then, hopefully, refined). Unfortunately, finding readers in our busy and information-saturated world is nothing but easy. Many writers, for instance, spend a considerable time building and connecting with an audience; for instance through book tours, presentations and social media.

Although we owe it to our efforts to publicize our creations, this might not be what everybody enjoys. I, for once, am not very comfortable with the concept of self-promotion.

Luckily, there is one reader whose attention we always can be assured of: ourselves. If you write and your writing is not read by an audience of millions, little fault falls upon you. But if you write and even you yourself do not read your writing, then why did you bother writing it in the first place?

Unfortunately, at least for me, it is often difficult to remind myself of reading what I have written myself.

One strategy to assure to overcome these difficulties is to create and/or assign a ‘reading contexts’ for any piece of writing created. Possible reading contexts could be the following:

  • A specific time; for instance, next Sunday at 3 pm.
  • An activity; for instance, before continuing my research on the Huns.
  • A resource; for instance, next time I access the document about architecture in the middle ages.

These contexts motivate us and ensure that what we have written gets read at the very least by ourselves. If this works, you could then venture to extend your readership to 2.

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