Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi, provides aspiring writers with tips for improving in this reading and writing speech. Martel doesn't believe that there's any one formula for writing. Everyone's creative process is different. However, he suggests that the best way to improve and become inspired is to consistently read.
Martel states that books make the best teachers in terms of writing. He says that writers should strive to read a wide variety of genres, rather than focusing on a favorite. Just because someone wants to write science fiction novels, it doesn't mean that they should stay away from romance novels.
Martel points out that even great, well known authors have writing weaknesses, as well as strengths. This is why it's best to read novels from a number of different authors. They each have something valuable to teach in terms of writing style.