May 7th, 2010
I blame my parents for my recreational writing habits. As a child, they often read me books that were far beyond my ability to read to myself. Each night, they could never read enough to satisfy my growing literary appetite. I was often stuck, excited and enchanted by the story when my dreadfully unfeeling parents stopped for such frivolous activities as cleaning the dishes, paying the bills and sleeping.
Such neglect forced me to be creative – with the book in my hand as a prop, I began to make up the next chapter for myself, turning the pages as my mind filled in the story I could not yet read. When an author killed off my favorite character, I wrote them their own stories in my head. Bad endings were re-written and when stuck waiting for a sequel, I came up with a hundred versions of my own. My first stories were grossly similar to the plots of my favorite books, but eventually, my own wildly developing imagination took over my pen.
When the mood strikes, you can find me beating up my keyboard to write embarrassingly bad stories even today. And I don’t think I’m alone – every reader who wonders what will happen next or keeps dreaming of characters when the book is shut has a bit of a writer buried inside.
If you would like excavate your own inner writer, grab something to write with and on and join the Writers Workshop at the Perryville Branch Library. We meet one Tuesday a month at 6:30 P.M. The meeting starts with a unique writing prompt and anyone who cares to can share their musings. Click here to see more info.
Additionally, you can find plenty of literary companionship by reading what great authors have to say about the writing life. Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
– Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury – As one of my favorite authors, Mr. Bradbury never fails to inspire me through his fiction and great articles about writing.
– The Writing Life by Annie Dillard – Thanks to Leah Davies for her review that turned me on to this book!
– The Writer Magazine – A great general resource with lots of good articles about writing. I have found some wonderful writing prompts and other resources while browsing this publication. You can check out all but the most recent issue.
So what do all you other readers think? What books have made you want to pull out your pen and start writing?