I’m a writer. With three published stories, I’m hoping I can say that and not sound too arrogant. But I started as a reader. I can’t even begin to guess how much I’ve read in my 43 years but it’s a lot.
When I was a kid, I was a loner and my parents moved a lot (I say 19 times from the time I was born until I started high school is a lot) so making friends and keeping them was hard.
Books were my friends. I was always ahead of the game when it came to reading and by grade six my reading level was tested. My parents were told that I was reading at a fourth-year university level. Whatever in the hell that meant.
I just couldn’t seem to stop reading whatever I could get my hands on. Classics like Little Women, Black Beauty and the Black Stallion series were devoured in elementary school. As I got older, I read whatever was in the house. My moms romance novels…even the trashy ones…my father’s historical novels about Horatio Hornblower and the Sharp novels by Bernard Cornwell, Dirk Pitt, anything Star Trek or Star Wars. I read it all.
Stephen King and Dean Koontz became an obsession with me along with the Skye O’Malley series by Beatrice Small. It’s what I did and my family was used to me walking around with a novel in my hands at all times. I usually had two or three on the go at once and it drove everyone around me nuts.
I started reading the Harry Potter books when my sister went on vacation and I watched her kids. I had to read it to my young nephew before bed and I was hooked.
I read fast…like crazy fast. I read the last…and longest…Harry Potter novel in a day. Once I get started, nothing can stop me until I’m done.
So, as a writer, I have these amazing new writer friends who are teaching me a lot and appreciate their patience and understanding so much.
I have writers in my new world who I love to read and who I can only hope to get to know.
Some of the writers have been so built up in my head that I haven’t even read their stuff yet and I love them to death.
But sometimes I am so disappointed. I hate it when story lets me down. When I’m done, I’m out of sorts if I’m not sad about it being over. And some stories, I read to the end, hoping for some kind of redemption and if I don’t find it, I get angry at the writer for screwing up my escape from reality.
I hope I never make a reader feel like that, but I know that I probably have. Everyone’s taste is different and just like I don’t love every novel I read, I know not every reader will love my novel. It kind of makes me want to fall into an anxiety attack but I’m well aware of the fact that it won’t solve anything.
Today I realized that I’m a writer…but I’m also still a reader. I had a story let me down and it’s still as frustrating as it ever was, but maybe I have a little more sympathy for the writer than I used to.
But I still hate it.