The decision to read and write
We all know folks who are top salespeople, professionals, business owners and parents. Although successful, many of them will not even read an e-mail from top to bottom, let alone a full article, a book, a manual or a prospectus. There are several legitimate (and other) reasons to avoid real reading, such as:
- I’m too busy
- It’s boring
- It takes me away from selling (or sleeping) time
- The facts are confusing
- I lose concentration
- My dog ate the e-mail
- The print was too small
- I had other priorities
- My computer crashed
My point is, today many of us are manufacturing reasons not to read. Just think, back in the day there was no TV, radio, phone, computers — nothing but reading to get the point or message across. Today, we all have apps that allow us the best excuse yet: Just let technology solve it for us.
Not the ideal solution.
Congress gave us the best reading example this year with: “Let’s pass the bill first, and then we can read it.” That is really scary, especially when we consider that it probably will never be read, and now its law. What kind of a top down statement is that sending to us and our kids? There must be a better approach.
Maybe there is a mysterious connection to reading. Could it be writing? Consider that when you read, it’s tempting to stop short, skim, skip and/or read ahead. But, when you write, you have to cover it all from top to bottom and not skip any steps.
When you write, you create, connect, edit, stylize and organize. You interact directly with your subject. You are connecting. You are communicating. You are growing. You are thinking.
Try this: Read to the point of writing.
Consider reading with a more critical attitude, and maybe with the idea that you will need to respond to or summarize what you are processing. The product could be that you become a better reader simply by approaching this subject from the writer’s perspective (left brain/right brain).
One up-shot of today’s networking communication is that we have to think through our comments and statements, and condense them into a relatively few words (e.g. Twitter). But, the process of authoring a blog, creating a website or commenting on other blogs or articles is a great place to start developing your craft. It could lead to newsletters, columns, hard books, e-books and any number of other opportunities.
Summary: Writing could potentially make us better readers.
Author’s note: Worked for me…you decide.