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Writers should read non-writing books

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

Lately, I’ve been reading The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional by Dr. Agustín Fuentes.

The book piqued my interest in evolution and primatology. I’ve learned interesting stuff that are not related to copywriting, UX writing, or business at all.

For example, did you know that humans became smarter because of cooking?

When humans learned how to cook their food using fire, it allowed them to gain more calories. This, in turn, sustained their energy, helped reproduction, and, more importantly, increased their brain size.

Larger brains = smarter species.

Right now, if you look at it, things are not so different. Species survive because they adapt to their environment. Those who didn’t, sadly, became extinct.

We can even apply it to today’s workforce. If people fit their environment well, not only will they survive but also become more creative.

Our ancestors, hominins, learned how to cultivate better social relationships and even develop culture because they adapted well to their environment.

Add that to the fact that they weren’t also preys and infant deaths were rare—and it’s not so puzzling why our species survived.

But what do those topics have to do with copywriting or UX writing?! Well, nothing much.

It doesn’t have anything to do with what I do, but it does help me see the world in newer ways. I believe that this is fundamental to any writing professional.

These days, it’s very easy to just echo what the crowd is shouting. As writers, we need to step back and learn how to scrutinize things differently.

We need to be more insightful, so we can offer something other than our skill to “do the job.”

One of the best ways to do this is by reading books that do not necessarily relate to our professions. The books don’t have to represent the opposite of what we stand for, but these books should bring something new to our life.

As Haruki Murakami said in his novel, Norwegian Wood:

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

So, if you’re a writer who has extra time, you should consider reading non-writing books.


This piece was first published on Filipino Remote Copywriters, my global community for Filipino copywriters. Join us here if you’re looking for fruitful discussions about copywriting, UX writing, and more.

By Tricia Hingpit

conversion copywriter & UX writer from Davao City, Philippines.

One reply on “Writers should read non-writing books”

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