How Fiction Found Me: Why I Started Reading and Writing

You would think someone with a passion for writing, a passion so strong you want your whole life to revolve around it, is something that had always been there. You would think they always loved reading and writing. That every day they’d wake up and start jotting down story ideas. They’d be woken up late at night from the sound of their book slipping our of their hand and slapping the floor.

That’s not how it was for me. I never thought about writing a novel until I was about 20. I didn’t get into reading until that age either.

I found it hard to get into the books they made us read in school. Whatever we wrote in school was mind numbing. School itself was mind numbing. I hated everything about school and reading and writing.

So how did I find myself writing suspense and horror stories? Why did I start publishing them for the world to read? Well, it started with reading. Stephen King specifically. But not horror or suspense.

I was working a dead end job. The people I worked with were great. The job was not. A co-worker recommended me The Dark Tower by Stephen King one day. I’m not even sure why.

He gave me a quick rundown of the plot for The Gunslinger. The first of a series of 7 (8 if you count Wind Through the Keyhole). I went out and picked it up from a Barnes & Noble that day when my shift ended. I nearly finished the first book that night.

From that moment on I was hooked. I read all 8 of The Dark Tower books. Then I branched out in to King’s horror. IT, Carrie, The Shining (granted I’d seen the movie. Who hasn’t?), Salem’s Lot and my personal favorite, Pet Sematary.

Then I tried Dean Koontz’s Watchers. I started branching out in to other authors and genres. I’d found a whole new world at the age of 20 because of the single recommendation of someone at work. If it weren’t for them, I might have never started reading.

As I found myself bored at work I could only think of the book I had been reading. The book I was going to read next. The books I’d already read.

Then my own ideas started coming to me. I had created an exercise to make my work days go faster. When I’d have down time I’d make up a story from nothing.

First I’d make up a character in my mind. Just visual, no names. Then I’d put them in a scene. A house for example. I’d visualize them walking through the house. Maybe the basement door would open a few inches. Hissing noises working it’s way up the stairs. Would they go down? What would they find when they made the basements rotting steps creak and moan?

I started to do this every day. Stories would come and go so quickly that I never gave them much thought after the day was gone. That is until one day I got stuck on a story.

Not in the sense that I didn’t know what the character was doing. It was the first story that I went back to the next day. And the next day… and the next week. Then the next month. I thought about it for years. I worked out an entire plot in my mind.

I thought that I should write it. I never found the inspiration to do it. I always told myself that I can’t do it. That I’d ruin it if I did. That no one would read it. If I’m honest. I still haven’t written it. I’ve written parts of it. I will finish it one day.

The thing is. I’m not afraid of any of those things anymore. The reason I haven’t written it is I met someone. I met someone who encouraged me so much to follow my dreams. My girlfriend inspires me to be the best I can every single day and supports me so much.

She’s the reason I haven’t written that story yet. But she’s also the reason I’ve written so many others. Why I have a few published on Amazon right now. If it weren’t for her inspiration those stories would not exist. When she first really encouraged me to write I found that I had so many other ideas that really stuck like that first one.

I had to get a notebook to carry everywhere I go just in case one pops into my head. I feel like I could see a train go by and have a story idea explode in my skull.

I could hardly sleep at night because I couldn’t wait to write more. I didn’t even want to edit my stories because I just wanted to write the next ones.

I went from someone who never saw themselves sitting down and reading a book, to someone who can’t stop. I can’t stop writing. I can’t stop reading. These ideas just work their way in constantly and I feel like I have to get them out.

I’m so happy that people want to read my stories, and one of my favorite things is hearing what people think of them. Yet I still just write for me. I love having an idea and figuring out how it ends.

When I have an idea for a story it generally has no end. I have an idea for a theme or plot and I just start hammering away at it. It’s almost like watching a movie. Envisioning what the characters are doing. What they’d do next.

Writing a story for me is much like reading one. I feel like it hardly makes sense to say it, but it makes so much sense at the same time. It’s thrilling to learn what my characters will do.

At 25 I’ve finally found a passion. Five years of dreaming about writing until I finally started doing it and I couldn’t be happier.

You can find my writing here on Amazon.

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