Why You Should Read Your Writing Out Loud

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Our innate impulse to communicate has taken the form of various stories and songs in cultures around the world for thousands of years. This verbal transmission has played a truly significant role in human history and continues to weave magic and meaning into our lives today.

The therapeutic power of literature was already understood by the ancient Egyptians, who referred to it as the “medicine cabinet of the soul”, and current organizations successfully combine this with the practice of reading aloud.

For contemporary writers of all stripes, a pause to reflect on the value of oral tradition and how the spoken word enhances the reading experience opens up a whole new dimension in creative writing.

Imagine how your message or story would be conveyed with the spoken word or song. What difference could that make to the way you phrase your words on the page?

After you’ve written your first draft, the next step is to review your work. And if you haven’t already, you’ll find that reading your words aloud is quite different from reading them silently.

As a writer, reading aloud brings a new perspective to the way you express your message or story, both in content and form.

By reading your work aloud, you can:

  • Get a much clearer picture of whether your writing really captures the essence of what you want to share with your readers
  • Capture the energy of the words themselves, in terms of how they sound and how well they fit with your content
  • Feel the overall rhythm of the piece you’ve written in a way that’s impossible to achieve through silent reading.

Of course, private and silent reading is a relatively recent development. Not long ago, reading aloud was a way to create a community experience within a family or group.

You might also feel drawn to sharing your work in this way. Readers seem to have an insatiable appetite for having authors read their own work, so this may well be part of your platform building activities as an author.

Live events and audio recordings of you reading your work (which you can offer as free downloads from your blog or website) help your readers feel connected to you.

So today I invite you to read your work aloud and experience the benefits of it.

Thanks to Julia McCutchen

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