Jun. 16th, 2016

gluedwithgold: (Default)
I read. A lot. All the time. I read when I wake up in the morning, I read before bed. I read on breaks at work, and I read after work. I don't watch a lot of television. My 25 mile commute from work is often spent wishing I was reading, or trying to devise a way in which I can read while driving (yeah, yeah, audiobooks, I know - shut up, I don't like them).

As soon as I learned to read as a kid, I started devouring books. Allowance? Spent at the bookstore. Library card? Always on my person (back then - now in the digital age when I can find reading material for free or download it instantly? Not so much. Yay internet!). I started writing then, too. As soon as I discovered the bliss of a good story my brain said "YOU MUST DO THAT!" I even made my mom concerned at one point because I would read the dictionary - just leading myself from one word to another, hungry for more vocabulary, more words, more story-building tools.

What is it that enraptures me so fully about reading? It's the stories. It's the worlds that draw me in, envelop me like a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer on a cold winter morning. Characters that are drawn so vividly that I feel like I know them, I fall in love with them, I want them to be my friends. It's these places that exist in a different realm, places I wish I could step into and explore, live there for a while and see what new things I can discover, new characters I can meet, new stories I can unearth.

So much love for stories.

Lately I've been devouring fanfiction. I read good fanfiction, I read terrible fanfiction. Short, long, canon, alternate universe, general fiction, slash fiction, I read it all. I love reading it. It takes this world I love and takes it further, lets me continue to explore the characters and the world - or turns that world completely upside down to see in an entirely new way.

I learn from all my reading. The good stuff I read fuels my desire to be a better writer - I find myself in awe of the way a story is told or how a character is drawn, and I try to pick it apart later to find out just how the writer did that. I learn from the bad stuff too, by critiquing it, figuring out what makes it bad, how it could be better.

But most of all, I escape. I run away into a different world, because let's face it - ours can really fucking suck some times. So for the time I spend reading, I don't have to deal with this world - I can forget about all the hate and violence and struggle (even though those things still exist in the worlds I read in, somehow it's not so bad - somehow I always know it'll be okay in the end, and I can't know that with the real world). For a time I can immerse myself in someplace else, someplace where my mind is free to roam.

It's occurred to me that maybe I spend too much time escaping into fictional worlds. Maybe, just maybe, I should focus on the here and now a little bit more. It's possible that my real life could improve if I put a little bit of effort into making it better instead of running away from it. You know what though? Fuck it. I'm gonna go read. 

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