To Be A Good Writer You Need to Read A Lot

Most people may think that to be a good writer, you need to WRITE a lot and that is true. There’s nothing like exercising your writing muscle to fine tune your talent and skill.

Most people may think that to be a good writer, you need to WRITE a lot and that is true. There’s nothing like exercising your writing muscle to fine tune your talent and skill.

However, I’ve been listening to “High Performance Habits” by BrendonBurchand on Audible and he talks about how he learned how to write and said, “If you want to be a good writer, you need to READ a LOT.”  This really resonated with me because I when I was 25, and was starting my journey and education as a TV producer and content creator, I realized that I had not seen a LOT of the movie classics like “North by Northwest” or anything directed by Hitchcock and a list of 100 others.  I was living in New York City at the time and decided to make it my mission to remedy this.

Now, even though I could have rented a lot of the classics, I decided I wanted to see them in the way they were meant to be seen….projected in the movie theater and the Regency Theater by Lincoln Center was the perfect place to do just that. The Regency would have wonderful themed movie series featuring Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock, and so many more (and they were all DOUBLE features).  The movies changed every two-to-three days so I’d purchase the series pass and proceed to spend three nights a week being transported in a Hollywood time machine of sorts, catching up on the most famous films ever produced.

This was not just entertaining, but very educational and by the time I turned 26, I had screened over 300 movies (classics and lesser-known films) in one year.  Almost through “osmosis,” I was absorbing how to structure a story, write good dialogue, and frame a shot and had assimilated a visceral talent for good storytelling since I had studied the masters.

How do artists learn to paint? They study the masters.  How do writers learn to write? They study the masters (like Brendon suggests). And how do you learn how to make videos that work? You study the masters.

I certainly honed my storytelling skills by watching classic films (when studios were run by creatives instead of MBAs).  But this is a hack that I’ve also used for learning how to create marketing videos for my website, sales funnels, and social media outreach as well, and then merged it with everything I’ve learned as a former network TV talk show producer (where I have also studied colleagues I admire to fine tune my skills). 

So, study the people who doing video marketing well.  And study the people who aren’t doing well.  Watch their videos and master classes. This is not the entire approach to honing your video marketing skills, but it is a very necessary use of your time as you navigate these waters. You see what to do and say and what NOT to do and say.  In fact, some of the most powerful lessons come from watching really bad videos or people doing it really badly.  This isn’t meant to be snarky, but that we learn more from mistakes than we do from flawless examples.

Now, I have a special invitation for you today to join me and my community of positive minded people in my Facebook Group to Grow Your Business with Video. I can’t wait to connect with you there!

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Marianne Schwab is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training and, as a Content Creation Strategist, she is the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to get booked on TV and ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe, a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients.

Copyright © 2019 by Marianne Schwab. All Rights Reserved.