I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately. Everything but the novel I need to jump back into. When I feel this happening, I take a step back and give myself permission to not write. (Sometimes that’s just as important as forcing yourself to write). When I can’t write. Or I’m just not writing for whatever reason, I read. A lot.
Going back to an old favorite does a few things for me. Every time I dust off my faves, I find something that I missed in my previous reads. I also get to pay close attention to how the plot and dialogue are shaped in a book that works. When I feel like my characters are stilted and the dialogue feels forced, I go back to the books that taught me how to write in the first place.
And I don’t just mean books like my favorites from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison. I take it further back even than that. I go back to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, a favorite of my fifth grade self.
I just bought From The Mixed Up Files… on my iPad. It’s so comforting to crawl into bed and rediscover these timeless characters that are just as I remember them.
This is what I want for my own work! I want people to hold on to it. Come back to it and re-read possibly. How good could a book possibly be if you never want to pick it up again?
Dear readers: What are your favorite books from your childhood. Do you have a favorite young adult book that helps you fall in love with reading (and writing!) all over again?
I’d love to hear from you!