On (not) reading as a writer

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I became serious about writing when I could no longer find any books that I like.

I know that they always tell you that you have to read a lot to be a good writer, but the truth is, I don’t; not in the traditional sense, anyway. At 14-years-old I found myself slogging my way through the Wheel of Time series, and after four thousand pages I couldn’t take it anymore. I just didn’t like the story.

Something inside of me changed in that moment. I could no longer visit the library with an appetite for anything literary — I wanted something that I could never find: a story that spoke to my soul and resonated with my heart, a story that I could feel. Fiction  became dry and uninteresting. Unsatisfying.

I realized that those stories I kept hidden in notebooks could be more than a secret indulgence. They could fill the empty spot I felt so keenly in the literary world.

I still occasionally read novels — often as the mental equivalent of getting the oil changed — though I maintain rather picky standards about what I’ll put into my brain. More often than not, I fill my free moments with hobbies that have nothing to do with books at all.

I find that a good hour of sewing leaves me charged with more energy for writing than reading ever did.

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