The simple joy of reading
I’m a writer, and as a writer – especially a pantser who writes by the seat of their pants – I’m driven to write. But all writers, any writers, starts out as readers. (As Stephen King says, If you don’t read then you don’t have the tools to write.)
Then comes that moment when you can’t find the kinds of stories you love, or you ask yourself, “Why hasn’t anyone written this story….?” or “I miss these kinds of stories, why doesn’t anyone write these stories anymore?” or “Why do all the books I see look or seem the same?” So, you write those stories. You can’t help yourself, you pick up a pen or turn on your computer, and you write.
But every writer starts out as a reader. Good writers read all kinds of things, not just fiction, but also fiction.
For myself, I’ve read about various religions, I love reading about different cultures, I’ve read Sun Tzu’s the Art of War, biographies,and anything else I could get my hands on. Someone once joked that I’d read cereal boxes and skywriting. And that’s just the non-fiction. In fiction, I’m across the board – I like fantasy/sci-fi, mysteries, thrillers with a less conservative bent, and the occasional not-so-standard romance – like J. D. Robb’s futuristic mystery/thriller/romance In Death series.
Which brings me to the reason for this blog.
I had forgotten the simple joy of reading for pleasure, and I had a particular author who had written one of my favorite series – F. M. Busby’s sci-fi Rissa Kerguelen. So imagine my surprise to find that there was a book in the series that I had missed. As a writer, I like complex worlds and I like to write complex worlds, with less of the doom and gloom of say G. R. R. Martins Song of Fire and Ice. Busby wrote about our world that seems oddly prescient right now – a welfare state with a ‘lottery’ system that gives hope, but there’s more to that story.
To be honest, I’ve been struggling with my current work in progress – a prequel to one of my series. It’s complex, and sometimes dark, but I wanted an unexpected ending, but with that air of hope and possibility.
I needed a break, but I’d been resisting reading to stay in the story. Sometimes that’s a mistake, and I think this time it was.
Out of desperation, and to see if the story was one I had read, I picked it up and was instantly back in the complex world of Rissa and Bran Tregare, the political intrigues, and the struggles of her/their daughter.
Writer or reader, rediscover the pleasures of an old favorite author. Find a new book by them or reread an old one. Take some time under a favorite tree, or in a comfortable chair, or by an ocean or stream, and enjoy!