Our innate impulse to communicate has taken the shape of diverse stories and songs in cultures all 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 understood by the Ancient Egyptians who described it as “the medicine chest of the soul”, and current organisations are successfully combining this with the practice of reading aloud.
For contemporary writers of all kinds, pausing to reflect on the value of oral tradition and how the spoken word enhances the reading experience introduces a whole new dimension to creative writing.
Imagine how your message or story would be delivered using the spoken word or song. What difference might that make to the way that you craft your words on the page?
Once you have written your first draft, the next step is to review your work. And if you haven’t already done so, you will discover that reading your words out loud is remarkably different from reading silently to yourself.
As a writer, reading aloud brings a fresh perspective to the way that you are expressing your message or story in terms of both content and form.
Reading your work out loud, will enable you to:
- gain a much clearer picture of whether your writing truly captures the essence of what you want to share with your readers
- pick up on the energy of the words themselves in terms of how they sound and how well they fit your content
- feel the whole rhythm of the piece you have written in a way that is impossible to achieve from silent reading.
Of course private and silent reading is a relatively recent development. It is not all that long ago that reading aloud was a way of creating a community experience within a family or group.
You may also feel drawn to sharing your work in this way. Readers do seem to have an insatiable appetite for hearing authors read their own work so this may well form 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) will help your readers to feel a sense of connection with you.
So today I invite you to read your work out loud and experience the benefits of doing so.