Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Writing: Is It Themes or Is It Story?

In 2013, a study by three researchers at the University of Toronto suggested that people who read literary fiction are more comfortable with ambiguity, tend to avoid snap judgments and can deal better with disorder and uncertainty. Publishing in the Creativity Research Journal, the researchers found that reading fiction may help people open their minds. (You don’t have to read the entire study; a short and succinct article in Salon translates the study from the original Academic-ese.)

Business executives don’t read novels to help them make decisions. But perhaps they should read novels to help them understand the culture around them. They might make better decisions as a result. 

I spent a career writing non-fiction – speeches, articles, reports, studies, and essays. And I read the business stuff I had to read – The Wall Street Journal and a multitude of business and trade publications. But I also read a considerable amount of fiction and poetry, and the understanding followed was reflected in my career work. I don’t think I could have written a lot of what I did without having read Charles Dickens, for example, or The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (as bad a novel as it was, it changed the laws governing food production). 

To continue reading, please see my post today at Christian Poets & Writers.

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