How Does Reading Influence Your Writing?

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Have you ever imagine how reading quality books can lead you to learn more about the inner workings of writing?

Well-known authors, novelists, creative consultants, bloggers, copywriters, freelancers, website content writers and so forth have found the secret to capture more readers and keep them longer.

In the Hypnotic Writing book, Dr Joe Vitale talks about mastering the skill of writing so clear, concise and compelling that readers can't resist reading from beginning to end. 

Jack London, Mark Twain, Shirley Jackson and Ernest Hemingway were among the authors that Dr Vitale learnt from as they could weave words in such a persuasive way that their writings have become classics.

The English writer Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie (1890-1976) is possibly the world's best-known mystery writer.

According to a British television documentary aired in December 2005, scientists from three leading universities studied 80 of the famed novelist's works and discovered she used words that invoked chemical responses in the brains of her readers.

The study - called The Agatha Project - involved loading Christie's novels into a computer and analysing her words, phrases, and sentences. The scientists concluded that her phrases trigger a pleasure response. This causes people to seek out her books again and again almost like an addiction.

The Guinness Book of Records lists her as the best-selling fiction author of all time with over two billion copies in print in the English language.

Dr Vitale describes this kind of writing as Hypnotic Writing. It is characterised by a focus of attention. It is a trance state where the readers are wide awake but focused on something they are reading. This is achieved by the right use of words to create mental experiences.

One important aspect, according to the book, is to allow your personality to come through, trusting yourself, being yourself, and expressing yourself. People will feel a sense of intimacy with you, and they will begin to trust you.

As people, we are self-centred. We create our own world through our experiences, beliefs, thoughts and actions. As a writer, it will serve us to understand the mind of the reader. The more you can meet your reader on the mental level where they are already preoccupied, the more you can move them to where you want them to be. 

Dr Vitale points out that there are two ways to cause people to take action. One is pain, and the other is pleasure. They are the two primary human activators. 

Most people in marketing and psychology agree that the first motivator - pain - is more powerful than the second. It is a sad truth. But he points out that focusing on what people want - desire - give pleasure and goals are a sounder way to help people, as well as to help you.

The Hypnotic Writing book mentions that the inner critic called Self One - The Editor stops us from writing with ease, flow, and originality. 

It is the voice that prevents you from writing your best material. The inner critic voice is actually keeping you protected. Safe. Controlled. And under those conditions, you are under guard! 

The Master is the wise part of you. When you get out of the way, 'it' is there. The writing flows smoothly and naturally. When you let that part of you come out and write, the results will surprise you.

These are only a few highlights that Dr Vitale recommends in his books. The book also has some useful exercises, and in the bibliography section, there are plenty of books he suggests to improve your writing.

Are you an avid reader? What books have you found interesting and helpful for your writing? I'd love to hear your suggestions.  

With much appreciation

Luci