So many topics have been covered as fellow authors wax eloquently on the craft of writing – from finding inspiration to moving past writer’s block to clichés to avoid, the list goes on. The commonality between the most popular sayings is that they are geared towards the author’s personal experience, but what about the reader’s? For today’s Writing Wednesday we’re flipping things around a bit and reminding you to keep the reader’s role in the back of your mind when crafting a story you intend to share with an audience.

Here are ten of our favourite things ever said about the role of the reader:

1) Samuel Johnson (18th-century English writer)

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

2) E.B. White (American author and essayist)

“No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence or whose attitude is patronizing.”

3) Ralph Waldo Emerson (leading member of the 19th-century Transcendentalist intellectual movement)

“One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.”

4) Barbara Kingsolver (contemporary American writer)

“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”

5) Elmore Leonard (American screenwriter and novelist)

“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”


6) Maya Angelou (American poet)

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his needs, is good for him.”

7) C.S. Lewis (20th-century English author)

“We read to know we are not alone.”

8) Enrique Jardiel Poncela (Spanish playwright and novelist)

“When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.”

9) Roald Dahl (20th-century English writer)

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.”

10) Ursula K. Le Guin (contemporary American writer)

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”


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