Over the years I’ve put a great number of words to page. I’ve written far more than I’ve got in both books I’ve published and in all the stories, open editorials and other such articles that I’ve posted online. A lot of those words are lost to time, some just sit in a box and wait, and many more are just completely forgotten.
I never got to that point of writing out of thin air. I never found that I had a way with words and was able to do something with them. And even though I do write and have story ideas, I don’t think I’m exactly very good at putting my ideas down all the time. In order for me to start writing, I had to start reading.
I was exactly a huge reader. I had a late start, it was always difficult, and many times I found it a lot of work because it tired my eyes. I still get that today. It takes me a long time to read a book. But I do read. In the past I did read a lot. I was a huge fan of Stephen King, Sue Grafton, Ken Follett, J.R.R. Tolkien, Douglas Adams, and many others. I didn’t just read books, either. I read comics, and had a huge collection of them. When I was younger, I didn’t pay much attention to who wrote them or illustrated them. But I did read comics based on the characters. Much in the same way that many people who watch television will watch a show for a character.
But, had I not read, I doubt I would have written anything. If I don’t impart any wisdom on anyone, at least I hope that someone walks away with the desire to read more. Anything. And everything. Read books in your comfort zone. Read books outside of your comfort zone. Seek out online serial novels, or even fanfiction. Buy a Kindle and pack it up with books you’ve wanted to read and carry it with you everywhere.
Before you write, start to read.