January 8, 2013 by bradcharlesbeals
Our writing (and all that comprises it) is always moving toward our own internal standard. And the standard itself is always moving.
We build it over a lifetime by laying down the sediments of others’ words. It’s not a trick or even a discipline–it’s neurology. Our internal language moves toward our ambient language because we’re wired that way.
So a good self-directed question for any writer serious about the craft is this: what’s the quality of my ambient language? The words you are immersed in are building up in thin layers over your brain’s language center, and under the pressures of use and time, they’ll stick there.
So what do you read? More importantly, whom do you read? Are your authors capable of carrying the freight of those ambitious ideas in your head? If so, great! Stick with them. But if not, look for someone better.
After all, Writer, you are what you read.