Do you have to be a reader, to be a writer?
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
𝑯𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒐𝒏 𝑻𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒓: https://twitter.com/i/status/1426591973482242048
𝑰𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒅𝒐𝒏'𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒃𝒐𝒐𝒌𝒔, 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒘𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎? There are many opinions on this topic. If you're interested, here's 𝒂 𝒏𝒆𝒖𝒓𝒐𝒅𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆.
I think the most important thing about this question is usually skipped or missed by most of the people who tackle it. And that is, why is there this fear that you must read. Why are you afraid of reading?
I'm going to say that Yes and No is the answer to this, from my point of view. There are mostly-aural storytelling cultures out there where the skills learned to tell a story can easily be applied to writing one. Likewise, there are slow readers--like... I'm a slow reader--who may not read as much, or read fiction as much. But Yes. It will be easier to learn how to write a book by reading 'The Manual' so to speak, which is other writer's work. But there's rarely ever just one way, writ in stone by the gods, to do a thing.
For the most part, too, opinions like this tilt toward neurologically 'typical' people. They don't take into account the quirks of neurodiverse people, some of whom are not able to read massive amounts of books, or may listen to books, or may not read as much as they study the structure of books, and so on.
This is often the case with opinions on this topic, I find. Yes, even learned #Authortube opinions. That's not to throw shade or imply gatekeeping. It's to point out that most neurologically average people--they are 'typical' as judged by the demands of modern society--don't think about neurodivergent people or begin to understand what reality looks like for them. That's a hard thing to do. Well, this is no one's fault, by the way. We're all on this mudball together--this gorgeous mudball--getting by, after all. But, I just want to, as a neurodivergent author, reach out to neurodiverse writers out there and remind you that 'The Rules' are usually made by people who can live within them, and people who benefit from them. Don't worry if you colour outside the lines, a lot, you can still do this.