Everything I write I read aloud. I would hate to think how many hours or times I read WAIW? aloud to myself and sometimes to Annie.
I read aloud as a I write. I real aloud at day’s end to review what I’ve written. I read aloud entire sections and chapters. Once the book was done, I read it aloud several times through. Each time I would make changes. In fact, I’m still making changes. My copy of WAIW? has sentences scratched out and words added.
Because I love things that validate my behavior (who doesn’t), I enjoyed VERLYN KLINKENBORG’s op-ed in the NY Times, The Lost Art of Reading Aloud. Here’s a bit:
“Reading aloud recaptures the physicality of words. To read with your lungs and diaphragm, with your tongue and lips, is very different than reading with your eyes alone. The language becomes a part of the body.”
Their are instances where hearing someone read their work aloud has increased my appreciation for their work. I heard USA Today Columnist Craig Wilson read aloud and now get an even bigger kick out of reading his column. To really solidify this point, I’ve got two words: David Sedaris. His work is hilarious on its own, but if he’s reading it, it is pee-your-pants hilarious.
Still, there is a potential downside. If your reading voice or tone does not match the tone of your written-voice in your reader’s head, the reverse could be true. Thankfully, I don’t have many examples to give here and I choose to keep those to myself.