What’s more important?
Reading or writing?
Trick question, they go hand in hand.
Just like the yin and yang, one balances out the other.
Reading is like having a conversation with an expert, but you get to have this conversation at your own pace. All while studying their writing style to improve yours.
When starting out, copying other writers’ styles will help to get the ball rolling. Later down the road, it is best to come up with your own writing style (based on other people) to be unique and stand out from the crowd.
But there is always one difficult question to answer in this situation. “When is the best time to ignore other peoples writing and start completely from scratch??”
In new territories of writing that’s when acting before studying makes sense. So instead of coming up with a completely new blog post format and style, copy someone in your industry.
On the other side of things, when you are trying out a brand new social platform or texting your friends, don’t research too much. Just act.
Action should be at the center of every single one of your plans. Not studying, just action.
David Perrell taught me many things in his 50 article email responder. He uses anecdotes to help the reader visualize his thoughts. Along with many other great tactics.
So it is not that you have to read before you write or vice versa, it’s that you need to understand the best times when to and when not to read a few other people’s high-quality writing.
Keep in mind that like most things in this world, reading can have diminishing returns. If you spend all day reading and don’t write down a single note, then many of the things you have learned will be forgotten.
Another great aspect of writing that is overlooked, is actually talking about your ideas out loud. You can be completely by yourself and still gain a tremendous amount of value.