Reading to Write

I have no idea how a tattered book, with a picture on the front of a girl sitting cross-legged in a garden, called Your Diary, came into my possession. I still have this book and will never part with it.

My sustained interest in this book is not that I keep a diary – I was never keen on recording my life each day, just as I don’t use a daily notebook in my writing life.

At the end of each chapter of this book is a quiz of what the reader has been reading with a writing exercise on a connected subject. Eg, after reading an excerpt from Dicken’s Christmas Carol, of the Cratchit family eating their Christmas Goose…There never was such a goose…is a quiz followed by an invitation to write about an ideal Christmas Day.

This is the aim of this updated blog – to show you how to let your reading feed into your writing, whether it’s a question of plot, structure or character. You will be able to ‘read around the problem with your current WIP (work in progress) or just to enjoy the process of reading about writing, making use of some how-to-do-it books. Finding the publications which will help you discover your way forward in your writing.

I will begin next week with How Novels Work by John Mullan, a must-have, no doubt about it.

3 thoughts on “Reading to Write

    • janehaywardwriter says:

      Sadly the book is very old. Looks as if it was published in 1950s.
      The ‘date of publication’ page is missing. I can only offer my memoir set in the 1960s, The Baby Box, which was in the first 50 of the recent Mslexia memoir competition. You can buy it through my blog – – see the Buy the Books page. Thank you for getting in touch. I hope you enjoy the read-to-write blogs.
      Jane Hayward.
      PS Do you live in London?


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