Previously, I’ve talked about how writers’ lives influence their books, but have you ever wondered how the books you read and write influence your life?
As a writer, bits and pieces of you are in the stories you tell. Words are the influences and emotions from your environment. Even if your story is set in 17th century as a pirate on the high seas, parts of your life are imprisoned in your tale.
It’s unavoidable. We write what we are, to a certain degree, before imagination and fantasy take over.
What if, after imagination and fantasy take the wheel, the influences reverse? Theoretically, do we become what we write?
Science fiction writers and readers, has a switch flipped inside you and have you started to explore the previously unimaginable? Romance writers, how about you? Do you become the hero or heroine and does your partner start to look like your hot suitor?
Crime writers, are you surrounded by clues in your everyday life? Has writing about detectives helped you find your lost keys faster? Mystery and thriller authors, do you see beneath the masks of those around you?
I had always been apathetically aware of the agendas of others, but that escalated when I started writing suspense. Now, I feel so keenly attuned to the hidden designs of people, I have a “motivation” trigger in my brain that won’t quit.
This comes as an advantage at times. When someone asks me or any of my loved ones a question, I instantly think, why do they need to know and what do they gain from the answer?
If anything, my sometimes off the wall questioning of a question forces others to think about agendas. Although I might come off as a conspiracy theorist, almost everyone has a reason, usually self-related, for the questions they ask.
A few years ago, I would have simply accepted the question and given a straightforward answer. Now, however, after being exposed to my own writing, I look beyond the question to the purpose of the question.
Do writers and readers become better people after creating or reading a book? I hesitated to use the word “better” because measuring one’s goodness (or badness) is unreliable. The meter on that varies too widely at any given second.
However, I do think you become “different” after exposure to a strong book (written or read), but the strength of the written word is subjective and relative to your emotions of the moment.
It’s an interesting concept to think about. I know my writing has changed me. Have books changed you?
Current enthusiasm is co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch