The Impact of Books

Today, I’d like to talk about books, something we are all very familiar with on this blog. As soon as we hear that beautiful word, the image of little black letters lined up perfectly on a white page springs to our mind, and we have a sudden desire to go find the nearest book and read it.

This post isn’t about any random book, though. No, this post is about books that inspire.

That’s what we all strive for, in our own ways. Books, so wonderfully written that they inspire others, whether that inspiration is to change the world or take up writing themselves. We want our work to touch others’ lives, and to have an impact.

We can all think of those kind of books in our own lives. I know I can.

There are books that made me fall in love with reading, books that I grew up reading again and again, never growing tired of them. Books like The Hobbit, Dragon Rider, and The Chronicles of Narnia fed my growing passion for the written word, and hold a sense of nostalgia to me that will probably never die.

Then there are the books that made me fall in love with writing. These are the books that made me consider the idea of creating worlds and characters of my own. They inspired me to pick up a pencil or sit down at the computer and write, in hopes of one day creating something that could mirror the beauty that these authors have created. Authors like Rick Riordan, Christopher Paolini, Tolkien, and so many others shaped my writing in ways that I can’t even begin to explain.

Finally, there are the books that made me fall in love with the beauty of English. Books that were written so well, with such beautiful lines and scenes that make me smile every time I read them. I’m addicted to English now, and it’s the fault of these kinds of books. The main suspects? Books like To Kill a Mockingbird, Wolf Wilder (the final line in this book is one of my favorites; if it weren’t for the fact that you need to read the whole book to understand it, I would share it), and the Redwall series will always hold a place in my heart, simply because of how well they are written.

I’m not sharing this with you just to show you all my favorite books and authors, although that motive does exist somewhere. The reason I’m sharing this list is because it’s part of my journey as a writer.

A lot of times, when writers talk about their “journey”, they focus on when they first finished a book, got published, and began to truly be successful and impactful as a writer. While these are all important moments for any published author, they don’t tell the full story.

Our journeys began long before we even start writing the first scene of our books. The winding path of our lives did not begin when we picked up that pen. Everything we’ve ever read in our lives, in some small way, has shaped our writing.

Even if it’s a book we hated, it’s still affecting us, as those are books that, in the back of our minds, we try the hardest to avoid being like.

Both the good and the bad from every book we’ve read has changed our views on writing, and our writing style.

As writers, we’re a bit like sponges in that sense. We soak up everything we come in contact with, absorbing it all with enthusiasm. Then, when we write, we’re squeezing all of that out, pouring into our work with a mixture of all the knowledge we have gained.

That’s why we need to keep reading, just as much as we need to keep writing. Without books to keep fueling us and inspiring us, we can’t keep going. We need to read to study and master our trade of 
writing, and if we don’t pick up a book on a regular basis, we can’t really do that.

Books are impactful. Not just to us, to our writing, or to our career. Books can change a person’s mindset, and have a resounding impact on their life.

Sure, maybe reading your fantasy novel is not going to change someone’s heart and make them suddenly decide to change their lifestyle – but it could inspire them, or hold a lesson within that they remember for a long, long time. It could even become their escape, their refuge from the stress of this world.

Or perhaps a younger writer may pick it up, and it is what inspires them to go pick up a pen and start their own adventure.

So, to bring this post back around, what do those books look like in your life? What places and far off lands inspired you? Which authors and characters alike do you admire and love? Who got you into writing, and who made you decide you’d never give it up?

Those are the books and authors that affected you the most as a writer, who got you started on your journey. Maybe you won’t get a chance to ever thank them in person, or maybe you will. But the best way to thank them? Carry on the legacy of writers in our generation. After all, it’s up to us to inspire the next. 

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