I refer to characters from books I've read in my brain all the time, sometimes learning from their actions, or using what they do as a cautionary tale. I remember incidents from memoirs and learn helpful nuggets for daily life from spiritual books.
What makes books so amazing for me is the power they have to transport me to another world, to plop me down in a completely different setting and make me feel like I'm walking around in a new location. Even good cookbooks can do this for me, like the latest one I'm using, which has me inhabiting a cattle ranch in Oklahoma.
What I've also been thinking about is how being an avid reader has made me who I am today, ie, a writer. Because from the earliest time I can remember, I thought this ability of the written word to transport me to a new world was magical. And I wanted me some of that magic for my own. Since I was a teeny, tiny girl, I wanted to be a writer. And that all stemmed from my love of reading.
Sometimes in my travels I run into people who want to be writers but never read. Um, really? C'mon. You have to read in order to learn to write, to see how other people put words together on the page so they make sense. To see how they compose a scene, to learn how to write dialogue.
But beyond all that, I can't even imagine a world in which reading and writing are not linked. In which the desire to be a writer doesn't stem from an avid reading habit. Can you?
If you can, please tell me about it, I'm all ears.
No matter where your desire to write comes from, I'd love to hear about it. What's your earliest memory of wanting to be a writer? Of the magic of reading?