I’ve been reading Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and my mind has been exploding since I started this book. It was recommended by a friend and I reluctantly downloaded it to my Nook (reluctant because we write within different genres). Though I prefer books in hard copy, my Nook helps me minimize excuses for not having read a book. I can’t claim I hadn’t had time to get to the store to get it. This way I have it in my possession and I’m forced to begin reading right away, which was the case here.

So far, my mind has been swimming with new ideas and philosophies on writing since reading this book. I’m forced to take another look at myself on this journey. One thing that’s becoming abundantly clear, one is prone to a lot of self-reflection as a writer. We seem to constantly analyze ourselves, our life experiences, and our decision-making abilities.

That aside, I’ve been re-thinking my perspective on reading within my genre as I write. I had previously chosen not to for fear of subconsciously incorporating other authors’ ideas into my own stories. I feared being faced with lawsuits of plagiarism once published because I inadvertently used another’s ideas as my own. But here’s the new perspective I’ve acquired, birthed from Stephen King’s book: It hadn’t occurred to me to read books within my genre as I’m writing to gain a perspective on what might be missing from current publications that I feel readers need. I tend to be pessimistic in my thinking at times so I was focused on what could go wrong from doing this; not having enough time to both read and write; and fear of being compared to other authors based on the content of my books. But hello! That’s going to happen anyway! I think I need to just get over that fact.

So, there it is. I’ve changed my perspective. No more fear of what may or may not happen — I’ll instead embrace the possibilities. Newbies, this is a must read, especially for fiction writers.

Write on!