Monday, November 19, 2007

People Read More when Writers Produce Attention-Grabbing Stuff

Reading is important, no doubt about it. People who read well earn more money than those who do not, are more active in civic affairs, and are able to take many factors into account before they act. Yet, many people in the U.S. are reading less, according to a new report put out by the National Endowment for the Arts, an agency of the federal government.

What to do? Make all forms of written material as interesting as YouTube or television advertisements. People are reading. They are reading e-mail, MySpace, websites, graphic novels, and all kinds of other interesting stuff.

By their behaviors, today’s readers are telling those who write that they have to do better. Be interesting. Be short. Be funny. Use graphics. Use sounds. Make reading fun. Match reading to the incredible imaginations that so many people have.

The decline in reading is a challenge to writers. Write better stuff. It really is that simple.

A case in point: Children nine and younger have great reading scores. Why? Because author who write for children write TO children. They write what children want to read. The stories are short and fun. They appeal to children’s imaginations. They have great graphics. Many appeal to multiple senses—sound, smell, taste. Many have DVDS that go along with children’s books.

If children’s writers can do it, we all can. It’s win-win.

Fiona Speaks is a pseudonym of Jane Gilgun who likes to laugh and talk. This blog is a way for me to connect with witty people who like to talk about ideas and how to connect with what's important. To do this, I want to examine and demystify the blocks I see to building connections and community with other people. Join me.

The blog is for witty people who want to build community. In this world that seems to be so full of witless efforts to self-aggrandize, I want to promote the simple idea of human connection.