I briefly mentioned in my previous post that I am an avid reader, which led to my proclivity for writing. I started reading at a very young age, and I remember having quite a large collection of books. I loved taking trips to the bookstores, and the best places were always the used bookstores. I could spend hours in the stacks of a used bookshop, and some of my favorite books could only be found there. Of course, now you can find anything online, but in the late 90s, the used bookstore was a bibliophile’s hunting ground.
As I began exploring my own tastes in books, I gravitated towards science fiction and fantasy. There is something about those invented worlds always appealed to me. I think the beauty is that these worlds are a place that the author builds, but the reader must create their own interpretation. Sometimes the author can incorporate the real world with science fiction or fantasy, which gives you a distorted view of reality. I have always loved the flexibility, because the possibilities are endless. I am not saying that other genres are handicapped by limits, but with a completely open universe in which to work, science fiction and fantasy can boldly go where no other genre has gone before (bonus points for those who get the reference).
I have branched out and read from many other genres, and mysteries and thrillers are probably my second favorite genre group. I think that every genre has their strengths, and everyone has their preferences when it comes to what they read. Many people find that they enjoy non-fiction more than anything else. The wonderful things about books are that there is a book out there for everyone. Reading is something that everyone should do, and they should come to enjoy it. I think that many people don’t like reading because they don’t get to read things that they might enjoy. Much of what is provided in public education is not suited for everyone. It is my belief that if guidelines were set in place where each student had to select a book of a certain size and depth that interested them, they would be more encouraged reading. My point isn’t to preach or get off on a tangent, but I do have to say that I think we need to get students engaged in reading. My wife and I are both big readers and we have very opposite tastes, so our daughter (and future offspring) will have an eclectic set of options to read from. Hopefully, they can also develop their own tastes and will enjoy reading as much as we do.
When I decided to start putting all the ideas that had been running around in my head on paper, they mainly fell in the science fiction and fantasy categories (shocking, I know). The problem is that having an idea is only the first step. I started putting things down on paper, and typing things out without any plan or structure, and quickly found myself with nowhere to go. While I was still putting any ideas I had down, they were unorganized, and needed to have some sense of structure. I went in search of guidance.
There is a wealth of knowledge out there for novice writers. I felt like a kid again searching through those bookstores, except I did it from my computer. Amazon has an enormous repository of helpful works on writing, and I recommend checking them out if you have an interest. Another great resource is the knowledge provided on writer’s websites or blogs. I highly recommend http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/ if you have any interest in learning how to become an author. K.M. Weiland offers an absolute ton of insight and other help to anyone who wants to learn. Even if you don’t want to be a novelist, there are resources out there to show you how you could be successful writer in any field. There is no shame in seeking out assistance or insight from others. You are foolish if you don’t use the resources that are freely available to you. After waiting as long as I did to realize that writing was something that could really hold a future for me, I know that the only thing that really can hold you back is you.
If you have the passion to learn and expand your horizons, then dive in to the world of literature. If you have a head full of ideas or an imaginary world you want to share with others, then find a way to get them out there. If you have the love for reading, and the will to pursue writing, then follow your heart. I hope to share my passion for reading and my thoughts and stories with the world. It will be a long and interesting road, but I’m going to enjoy it. I can’t wait to learn and grow from the experiences along the way.