I can’t remember when exactly I started writing for fun, but I know it was definitely born out of my passion for reading. Man, did I READ as a kid. I checked out bags of books from our local library and stumped the librarian a few times because it got to the point where I had read almost every age-appropriate book in the children and pre-teen sections. When I wasn’t playing outside or at school, I was curled up somewhere with a book.
Even when I was at school, I was still reading like a fiend. To this day, my fifth grade teacher still teases me for being that kid that was always “stealthily” reading under my desk (which, of course, wasn’t actually stealthy at all). The thing is, even though she knew I was doing it, she never once scolded me for reading. Not once. Of course, she was concerned that I wasn’t paying attention in class and would try to call on me when she thought I was distracted, but as she told me later, she actively decided to never give me a hard time because she didn’t want to discourage me.
This silent, indirect encouragement turned out one of the greatest things a teacher has ever done for me (thank you, Mrs. Moyer!). The fact of the matter is I have no formal writing training outside of the basic classes you get in school. The majority of my knowledge of the English language is instinctive because I learned to write mostly from imitating my favorite books. Even though many of them were fiction and my current work is headed into the realm of nonfiction, those books still influence my writing and how I tell stories:
Has there been a book (or two…or three…) that have influenced you? Tell me about it in the comments.