I’m an avid book reader. I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of books of the years, both fiction and non-fiction. At any given time I’ll have at least two books that I’m reading, and a long list of books to read after that. Whenever I have a problem that I’m thinking about I turn to books for help and guidance. And I consider several of my greatest mentors to be some of the authors of those books.
Yet, I still believe that reading beats writing. If I could only have either reading or writing I’d pick writing any day. Writing forces me to think through my own believes and ideas. It makes me pit concepts against each other and really think about my arguments. It gives me a debating partner, myself, to discuss and debate in a way that reading never can.
It’s in writing that I’m able to consolidate and combine ideas into something that is even more valuable to me, than the ideas expressed by others.
And writing has another quality. It lets you share what you’ve learned with others. When you write, no matter how much it’s inspired by someone else, you create something new. And your voice is valuable to someone else. Someone that wouldn’t have been exposed to that idea without you. When you write and publish your writing, you give others an opportunity to become better too.
And let’s not forget — without writing there would be no books. That’s why I write. And that’s why you should write too.