Today I thought I would share a little about myself and where my love of reading, writing, and books in general comes from.
When I was but a wee lad I loved having books read to me. Most of them were part of the Walt Disney Beginning Reader collection, my favorite being Goofy’s Big Race. I also loved books like Go, Dog. Go! Eventually I started learning how to read and I HAD to read at least one book like that a night before I was willing to go to sleep. Eventually I started reading more challenging books such as anything in the Boxcar Children series and then working my way up to the Goosebumps series. At this time all that I did was read. Don’t get me wrong I read a lot, but I never attempted writing anything.
Then comes Animorphs. This was a defining series for me in grade school and middle school. For the first time ever I took what I read in the series and started writing my own story based on some of the things I read about. I loved every moment of writing, and I thought nothing of how bad it actually was, I just wanted to write for the sake of telling a story.
In this day and age that sort of writing is called fanfiction.
I continued reading books in my preferred genres of sci-fi and fantasy and enjoyed doing the occasional story or poem in school for my Creative Writing class. Then came that one fateful day….
The day my reading and writing world changed forever…
I happened to be looking up books on magic or dragons or something to that nature. I can’t actually remember what the reason was that I was looking for a particular book. Then I stumbled upon The Scions of Shannara, an amazing book in an amazing series written by Terry Brooks. I can still to this day picture the opening scene from that book. To say that it had a profound impact on my life is an understatement. My love for reading grew exponentially and my desire to be a writer was truly kindled. My loved genre shifted to mostly fantasy after that and I wanted nothing more than to write some amazing fantasy series that would get me on the New York Times Best Seller list. (That desire still exists)
Now, I have a confession to make…
I didn’t read Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit until after the movies had come out; well after the movies had come out actually.
I will say this though, I was somewhat depressed when I had finish reading LOTR, knowing that I had just read a masterpiece and I would never read a book that was so profound to me.
LOTR was, is, and always will be me favorite book (book not books, it was originally intended as one book, and I like to think of it that way). I felt that it told an amazing story and I could feel the depth to the world that Tolkien had created. There was a deep and rich history that was woven into the story perfectly.
So, over the past decade or so, I have been working on the notes for my first series. I wrote 50k words during NaNoWriMo 2014 (most of which were terrible), and my plan is to start the story over in less than a week. I’ve been compiling all my notes and working on building up history and a timeline. All that’s left to do is finish my outline and start writing.
Maybe one day I will be a successful, published writer. (My definition of success being a book that people enjoy and feel a personal connection to in some way, shape, or form.) Until then I need to focus on telling the story that’s been given to me, and to do it to the best of my ability.
I encourage you to take the time to think about and then write your own post on where your love for reading, writing, and all things storytelling started.