My favorite teacher at Mount Royal University told us that Reading was the easiest way to get better at Writing. I think that's the wisest piece of writing advice I've ever heard. Reading is the perfect boyfriend. Reading doesn't care what you weigh, what you look like, what friends you're going out with tonight. Reading doesn't pressure you to do him, and you can do him virtually whenever you want. Reading is always there for you when you need him.
But then there's Writing.
Writing is very rough around the edges. Writing demands your full attention. Writing is judgmental and if you don't do him carefully, you could get into a lot of trouble. Writing expects you to make time to do him, because if you don't, you may not get to do him for a very long time. And if you don't do it up to his standards, he makes you feel badly about yourself.
But when Writing is good, is it ever good. It's like that semi-abusive relationship that everyone finds themselves in at least once in their lives. It's perfect in the beginning; you feel great, maybe even successful! But then things start going downhill. Not drastically, but maybe he starts humiliating you in front of your friends at a fancy dinner party? Maybe he constantly insults your closest friends. But you justify that behavior because you love him and he's just been stressed out at work lately. Eventually things get so bad that you decide to move in with your parents for a while so you can re-evaluate the relationship in peace. Then Writing shows up at 2 am drunk out of his mind threatening you to come back into his life. Your father grabs a shotgun and goes outside to scare him off while your mother tells you and your siblings to hide in the basement while she calls the cops. Yeah, that's Writing, and we've all been there.