Reading While Writing

November 7, 2014 | 2

“I learned through imitation, but it was only when I followed—or found—my own voice that I was able to derive a different kind of inspiration from reading fiction, something subtler and more expansive. Today, when I reach a wall in my own work, I turn to authors I love to remind myself what is possible: that sentence, that structure, that daring twist of plot.” Chloe Benjamin, who just yesterday published a piece on choosing book titles for The Millions, writes about the dangers and rewards of reading while writing for Poets and Writers’ Recommends series.

is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York and every so often writes things at


  1. Absolutely! Imitation is the first form of flattery, right? I think that most writers would admit to other writer’s styles influencing them, if not downright propelling their story forward. As a YA author, I am always copying John Green’s style of short, choppy sentences with little description and lots of cuss words. I love the freedom that YA offers: novels in verse, flowing fantastical descriptions, stories reading like plays. Me: I love it. You: Okay. Me: Okay.

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