The more you read, the better your ear is for good writing, and the better able you are to write as well as you hope to. In every single instance in my life--and I can say it’s a long life now--I’ve never met a writer whom I considered better than me from reading the work, who wasn’t also better read than I was. In every single instance, they knew more. I don’t mean knew more information. I mean they had been exposed to more; they'd had more words, more brilliant sentences and lines, more art, more true expression run through their minds. The brain is an astounding recorder. It records everything, everything. You have in your memory, as brilliant and absolutely present as now, the apparently meaningless moment of bending over in a hallway at three years old to pick up a sock. Every single second of your life is recorded there. And so when you read, when you give your beautiful instrument, your brain, the nourishment of great writing--the more of that treasure that you can feed it with--the deeper and richer are the verbal and eventful resources you have to draw on when you write and revise, and, consequently and not by accident, the better your ear is for finding the best ways to say what you hope to express. Read. Read. Read. And write.