Of late, my writing process has become a breeze — I’m neither sitting down to brainstorm for ideas nor researching stuff for my articles.
Throughout the day, golden ideas pop up—primarily on the toilet seat, during my morning gym walks, or in the shower. And when I sit down to write, I already know enough about the topic.
The reason? A shift in my reading preferences. As a lifelong fantasy-first reader, I had developed a distaste for non-fiction.
Only when I started reading classics did my interest in history, psychology, and philosophy sprout.
Since I discovered that the cesspool of cliche self-help was only a tiny blip in the non-fiction universe, I’ve been having a blast plowing through macroeconomics, marketing, and evolutionary psychology.
While my fiction reads shaped my writing skills, devouring non-fiction has made me a powerhouse of ideas and information.
Flood Your Mind with The Written Word
As a writer, your mind is your biggest asset — and the more you feed it, the faster it grows.
Existing ideas intermarry to give rise to newer ones. Nuggets of information will lodge themselves into your subconscious. Your vocabulary will swell like a flooded dam.
When you sit down to write, words fill flow like an overturned bucket of fresh honey.
But this doesn’t mean you mindlessly consume everything that comes your way — this is because it’s impossible to read even 0.0001% of everything that’s ever been written in a lifetime.
Not to mention that millions of articles and thousands of books are published every single day.
While you won’t be able to predict how much a particular read will change your worldview, being mindful of what you read will still help you filter out the trash.
Read Goodreads reviews. Look up the author’s life (and other works). Join a book club. See what uber-successful people are reading.
The biggest pro-tip yet?
Nag your bookworm buddies for recommendations — through sheer quantity, they’d have already done the filtering.
Copy Other Writers (The Right Way)
The utopian “original” writer that pulls never-before-seen ideas and thoughts out of the void doesn’t exist.
Every thought or idea that’s ever crossed your mind has passed someone else’s mind before.
There are no original ideas, only originally packed ideas — saying the same things but differently.
When you read other (successful) writers, you get exposed to new ideas and new clever ways of packaging them. Then you go “Aha! That’s one smart bloke”, and steal it.
Yes, it’s 100% ethical. Every human being is different and even if you were to write about the exact same topic, the content would be different.
Even if the content was the same, the style would be different. So ruthlessly steal ideas and styles.
And make them your own.
Reading + Writing Revolutionizes Your Life as Well
The beauty of the written word is — not only does it make you better at expressing your thoughts. It also shapes and sophisticates your very thinking.
Every time I write, even if it’s with zero research and purely out of my mind, I learn something new.
Writing teaches you what you already know but didn’t know that you knew.
I know that reeks of inception, but on a serious note, writing has something of a mystical element to it — it’s almost alchemy.
When you pair this up with reading, you unlock a literal superpower — the ability to subconsciously transform your life daily.
So read to fill the coffers of your mental bank. Write to unlock that bank’s high-security lockers. As the riches of your mind grow, your decisions will grow sharper, actions more powerful.
And your life leagues better.