It’s been my happy pleasure to have met many readers over the years. Once we get to “talking books” we usually discover quite a bit of common ground, even if our reading tastes differ. There is something universal about diving into a well-drawn story world, connecting to the characters or immersing ourselves into a plot.
Sometimes, as a writer, I lose my fire for writing. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I know the remedy. It’s the very thing that made me become a writer in the first place: reading. It’s the fastest, most sure-fire way I know to rekindle what I love about the industry, because storytelling stirs the heart.
Reading does so many things! It not only enriches our life, it can teach us, challenge us,
comfort us, widen our horizons. I read Heather Gudenkauf’s Little Mercies and understood for the first time how a responsible, respectable mother could mistakenly leave her infant child in a hot car. It broadened my perspective. And many years ago, I wrote a book about a mother who tried to commit suicide—and take her medically fragile child with her into death. She failed on both counts, but it changed her life forever. That wasn’t an easy story to write or to market, but I received many notes from readers letting me know they had a new understanding as to why these horrific stories keep popping up in the news.
Reading not only preserves emotional sensitivity, but expands it—because reading is all about connecting with characters who can take us places we never thought we’d go. Of course, I prefer to read (and write!) happily-ever-after stories, always with a romance, simply because reading is an escape and I like escaping to happy places.
For whatever reason you read, or write, I know we have something in common. That delicious feeling created when a story world seems just as real as the one around us. We look up from the page and remember where we are and smile because life just got a little bigger.
As always, happy reading! Hope you can spare a little time for a good book today. 🙂