Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why I Read, Why I Write

I've been thinking about why I read and why I write. I really only read fiction - yes, I'm that shallow - and usually only speculative fiction. I'll read a little bit of straight young adult, but hardly any realistic fiction for adults, no mysteries, no romances, nada. The books I've been recommending to others, they don't like. So, I've been thinking about why I like them when others don't. Here's what I came up with.

1. I read because I want to escape my real life.
2. I want to fly to another world.
3. I want to have my first kiss again, and again, and again.
4. I want to find a note in my locker from a cute guy.
5. I want to explore mountain tops and see the ocean every day.
6. I want to have a cool super power that allows me to do cool things.
7. I want to fall in love for the first time--again.
8. I want to ride on a yacht and not be afraid.
9. I want to be brave, and strong, and defeat evil, even if I'm only five feet tall.
10. I want to experience heartache without any pain.
11. I want to cry when my mother dies.
12. I want to time travel to a new location.
13. I want to learn how to drive again.
14. I want to tell the mean girl in high school to shove it.
15. I want to travel the world.

I'm sure I could come up with a thousand reasons why I read, and why I write. I adore young adult and middle grade literature, from realistic fiction to urban fantasy and science fiction to high fantasy. I want to go through what kids 9-18 go through, over and over. And I've realized that some people don't. They don't like the books I do, and that's okay. That doesn't mean the books are bad, or that I'm bad, or that my book is bad. It just means they're writing political thrillers, or memoirs, or nonfiction, and they don't read or write for the same reasons I do.

Whew! I feel better already.

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