Writing has opened my eyes in a way I never expected.
I have been known in the past to get so caught up in a book that I could not hear any noises around me. A train could be barrelling down the track, me sitting on the rails, people screaming for me to get out of the way, and I would continue to calmly read. The train, the screaming people, imminent death–all of that would have become the fictional world, and the book in my hand the only reality.
But now I read differently. Now I notice how the plot is structured, how dialog carries the story along in a way that pure text never could, where the author utilizes foreshadowing in just that perfect manner.
But most of all, my eyes have been opened to exactly how much of the author is embedded in the story. How old hurts, joys, thoughts and dreams appear on the pages and become part of the story.
As soon as I began to write seriously, as soon as I realized just exactly how much an author must give up of themself, I knew that there were certain types of stories I would never be capable of writing. Not that my imagination is not rich enough to write a psycho-thriller or a horror story, but my life experiences are fortunately lacking in that arena.
And that is just the way I want to keep it!