Read Now, Write Later

Why, and how, should we write? Ruth Behar explores ideas of writing with perfection in her article, “Read More, Write Less.” As a writer myself, I happen to agree with her, before I even took the article into account. I worry that writing in large quantities diminishes the value of my words, so that by the time I come to writing something meaningful, I have less eloquent ways to say it. Behar argues that “you can only write as well as what you read.” She says that we must read widely and without discrimination, covering many genres, in order to aim our own words at any kind of area. She makes the point that we in order to develop a voice and style distinguishable from any other, we need to expose ourselves to a broad range of voices and styles. Finally, Behar relates this idea to anthropology: when an anthropologist moves to write an ethnography, their writing must have a voice and style that stands alone. Tips and tricks about going about this are included, but her main message cannot be overstated: read from many different sources and areas long before you try to write anthropologically. Good life AND anthropology advice.