Tips for Writers: Find Someone to Love Story With

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“Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” ~Jean Rhys

Perhaps the most universal piece of advice for writers is, “Read, read, read!” Let me just amen that, brother-slash-sister-choose-one, and add this: In addition to reading to yourself, read with someone you love.

My wife and I have been reading aloud together since we first started dating 35 years ago. The stories we’ve experienced—the classics, the disappointments, and everything in between—have formed rich layers of strata in the thing called Us. Our reading, as a shared vicarious experience, has made the journey of we-two-opposites much less opposite, forming a major tributary in the river of Who We Are (yes, I know, honey, I flirted dangerously with a mixed metaphor just then).

Our reading together has enhanced our love of Story. And in discussing the stories we’ve read, rather than merely musing over them in isolation, we’ve enriched our understanding of what makes a story Story. And as a result, we’ve become better storytellers ourselves.

About two minutes after each of our children were born, we inducted them into the cult of Story. They’ve never lost their faith, never turned agnostic. In fact, they’ve abducted many of their friends into the sect. Because, you see, it doesn’t just work for lovers, it works for all lovers of Story.

So read, yes, by all means, shamelessly and publicly. But also find someone to read with. Whether you read aloud together or separately and then discuss it together (I love the former, but respect the latter), find someone to love Story with…

And you will grow as a story teller.

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” ~Harper Lee

 “It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things     that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”    ~James Baldwin

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” ~Anna Quindlen

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Books, Humor, Memoir, Quips and Quotes, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Tips for Writers: Find Someone to Love Story With

  1. Niki Flow says:

    I love this post. Some of my favorite memories are reading to my children, something that I didn’t often experience. My beautiful Aunt Rose did write a book about me, much like the wonderful series I’ve begun reading Mitch that you originally started as stories for your daughters. I didn’t even know about Winnie the Pooh until I read the books to my kids, so we experienced the delight of the story together. It was a daily event and as they grew older the older two acted out the voices for the baby. We also had Teddy Bear Club which now continues into this new generation (my granddaughters) and it was continued from the previous to ours. So the bears and other members were all part of the story and will be featured in upcoming tales to my granddaughters. The stories and bear clubs included, as you wrote, anyone interested. When my son had to go to CHOP every year for a medical condition, those hours in waiting rooms became our chance to include every kid there for story time and Teddy Bear club. We carried the club in our backpacks — at least, the senior members. =) It was a delightful way to pass that time. ♥.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ah, yes! Reading aloud with someone you love. Priceless. And incredibly inspiring as well! Outstanding advice, Mitch! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. D Everyday Resale says:

    Great advice Mitch thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ginny says:

    This is such a beautiful idea. I love reading with my daughter but you’ve opened my eyes further. Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ellie894 says:

    Wonderful 😊🌷

    Liked by 2 people

  6. cricketmuse says:

    It took me 35 years to get my husband to venture into fiction instead of maps, manuals, and guidebooks. It’s so bonding to discuss a plot arc. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Blended Hope says:

    My first husband (who passed four years ago) LOVED for me to read to him as we traveled.
    Thank you for sparking that memory❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Crissy says:

    Beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. stolzyblog says:

    It’s true. We used this for more thanaa year over the phone lines… long distance relationship at first. Taking turns reading & listening to chapters of novels. Long as you find the right books, it is wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Jennie says:

    So important!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. An easy way to read together is to listen to audio books. I’m really into audible.com

    Liked by 2 people

  12. nancyehead says:

    Read to kids–can’t shout that loudly enough. Makes so much difference for them!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. smzang says:

    This post is a great reminder to preserve the printed word. Books have a soul of their own. You are so right, reading aloud, together or alone, is a great connection of souls. My late husband was first my poetry prof. I was a cheap date. I packed the picnic lunch and he brought the poetry book and read to me. Hmm, in retrospect, it still seems like a good deal.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ann Coleman says:

    I’ve never thought of the importance of reading aloud together before! But now that you mention it, one of my fondest memories of grade school was the “story time” we would have after noon recess. The teacher would read a book to us, a chapter at a time. It was wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. toutparmoi says:

    There’s something really special about being read aloud to; I feel for children whose parents don’t read to them, or – if they can’t read – don’t have any stories to tell. Nowadays, parents can get audio books for their kids, but I once heard someone point out: You need to cuddle up and listen with them.

    From a writer’s perspective, reading your own work aloud or hearing someone else do it is the absolute acid test!

    Liked by 1 person

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