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Reading Matters - Gary Spinks Strategic Copywriter

Reading Matters

With copywriting you might think that the only reading you’d be doing is proof-reading… checking your work to make sure it reads well, contains everything you want to say and avoids any obvious grammatical or spelling mistakes.

And that is definitely a job worth doing with every piece you write.

But there’s other reading the professional copywriter also does as a matter of routine.

It could be newspapers, magazines or books.

Why?

Well, reading is a powerful source of inspiration, creativity and information – all of which can help with your writing.

A news item could provide you with a topical subject for your latest newsletter.

A magazine might have a feature about how a person has achieved something or does something unusual – lots of potential here to create a content marketing article or nurturing email and to connect it with your audience’s industry and your specialism of expertise.

A book can do all the above and more.

Becoming engrossed in a good novel helps you to relax and take a break from the computer screen or writing pad.

It allows you to become immersed in storytelling (an art essential for copywriting) and to take in learning about structure, pace, tone and flow (again, all vital elements for great copywriting).

Remember back to your school days, and it’s why teachers would tell you to read more to help you with your writing.

And the same goes for when you learn a language – reading helps you to write (and speak) the language.

As for what to read that’s entirely up to you. Just pop into your local bookshop or pick something online and enjoy.

If you’re thinking of the classics – authors like Jane Austen, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, George Orwell, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll and Ernest Hemingway spring to mind.

Or pick a book from a “top 100” list – such as Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep”, J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in The Rye”, Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mocking Bird”, “Lucky Jim” by Kingsley Amis, “Lord of The Flies” by William Golding, or John Le Carre’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”.

There are numerous more female authors, of course – choose from Beryl Bainbridge, Muriel Spark, Angela Carter, Jacqueline Wilson (yes, it’s OK to read “children’s books as an adult, honest!) and we cannot forget J.K Rowling for the page-turning Harry Potter saga.

What book are you reading at the moment?

What’s your favourite of all time?

Is there a book you’ve been meaning to read again after years sitting on a dusty shelf (the book that is, not yourself)?

Go read.

It’ll do you good.

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