Writers write, but first they read

by Angella Jacob

March 1 , 2011

As a young girl, I spent several afternoons after school in the small library in my hometown. I would rush over after classes were done to find the latest treasures waiting on the “new arrivals” display shelf. Or I'd just sit at one of the tables, doing homework first, then taking my time to pick a book off the shelf. I'd get lost in the stories, sitting in the softly lit room, surrounded by the giant bookcases, peering down at me with their massive paperback and hardcover collections, all in a row. The seed was planted early, my parents always mindful of the importance of reading in a child's life. That seed they planted in me, the love of books and reading, kept growing throughout my youth, moving on from storybooks to comic books, from R.L. Stine to Agatha Christie in my teen years, to Edgar Allen Poe, Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King into young adulthood. Classics and contemporary alike, I devoured book after book. Seasons would pass, but not my love of reading. Whether it was during summer vacation, sitting on the back porch with lemonade and the mosquitoes, or in the dead of a winter storm, hunkered down in my bed with nothing but a nightlight casting a glow on the page, I read.

I encourage everyone to read, read, read. Encourage your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to read. Support your library. Visit a bookstore...online or in person! Used books stores are my personal favourite, or scavenging yard sales in the summer in search of new-to-me printed discoveries.

Books are what readers and writers are passionate about. One cannot exist without the other. It is my belief that every writer has to write often, to build their skill, to hone their craft, to exercise their potential. However, I also believe that for each line they write, they should have read a chapter in a book. Writers have at their disposal the teachings and the works of the literary geniuses that have given us their most astounding creations, even long after they have departed this world! So simple the task to open a book and let the mind absorb the words, the structure, the stories and adventures. My passion for writing would not exist today had it not been for my love of reading and books. Of course other things come into play. Visuals are also important. Writers can use life experiences to draw inspiration for their storyline. Invoking true emotions in order to realistically depict a character's struggles or joys.

The writers' first love though, is usually their love of the written word. Word by word, line after line, chapter by chapter. The reading seed that is planted at a young age, is that which awakens a writer to fulfil his or her destiny. Eventually, the seed grows, roots are grounded, and it grows into something bigger than the writer can ever imagine. It is the vines of that full grown tree that produce rich, succulent fruit, ripe with tasty words to devour, page after page....oh, and guess what, the U-Pick is now open! :)

One final thing, dear Reader...my latest short story, “Norah”, is now posted under the “Short Stories” section of this site. Please feel free to leave your comments, feedback and thoughts.

Until next time,
Angella Jacob