OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the issues that all the ink spilled over my last blog post has drawn attention to is that of the relationship between readers and writers.

The two we are told, are inextricably linked. That may be true, but it does not mean that they are activities akin to looking down the opposite ends of a telescope. I could confidently say that not all, and possibly not most, readers will be writers too, But I would be far less confident in the assertion that even a few writers were not also readers!

Yet, when a reader reads I doubt very much that they do so with a raised awareness of how the writer has written.  When a writer reads, and does so ‘as a writer’ however, he does so with a much more heightened awareness of the writing. I have read, and heard several comments by writers who find that reading has changed, as a result of them being writers. It’s very like the situation of the film buff, after he has read McKee’s screenwriter’s scripture, Story.

Which leads me to wonder if being a writer is far more likely to improve your performance as a reader, than being a reader is likely to improve your performance as a writer. I wonder too, if there are other such parallels: drivers and mechanics? Chefs and food lovers? Music lovers and instrumentalists?

In fact there must be many situations where the awareness of the ‘user’ as regards the maker, is less deeply affected, than that of the maker in regard to the user!