Okay, so I was scrolling through all the drafts I have on my profile…
Y’all. There are 25 drafts. TWENTY-FIVE.
And it’s crazy because I’m reading a few of them to pick one to share and finish for tonight, and I wrote some of them when I was still in college. And reading them now, I’m just like dang…this is who I was several months ago, a year ago…maybe even a couple of years ago.
To prompt a current blog post with a draft is pretty…bold? I don’t think that’s the right word. Maybe “challenging.” Because I don’t think the same way I used to, you know? So to try to finish some thoughts I had a while ago today, well, they would provide something completely different now than they would have in the past.
But I guess it’s also a beautiful thing – to create something new with previous thoughts and ideas. To take what I believed back then, and apply it to now, or defend or correct myself for what I wrote before.
Since this is supposed to be a mini-series, I think I’ll post five #FromtheDrafts posts for now, then move on to other things, and later I’ll come back to the other drafts. It’ll be something I do every couple of weeks or something.
Okay here goes!
Fiction, Adulthood, & Reading in General.
I talked to Bria on the phone yesterday (Sunday), and we briefly brought up books we were planning on reading. And we both expressed how, for some reason, it is SO DIFFICULT to get into fiction reading now.
Why is this? All I read back in high school was fiction. Now, I have such a hard time trying to place myself within a fictional world and mindset. And that used to be my favorite thing when reading fiction; being a part of a world or situation that wasn’t my own.
Maybe it’s because, as an adult with all sorts of adulting responsibilities, my world is already hard enough to maneuver. I don’t need another fiction universe with its fictional problems to stress me out when I have things to deal with in reality.
But I kind of do this when I watch Netflix – I escape into the BAU or Tree Hill or the White House alongside Olivia Pope, and I long to be a part of their world. Maybe it’s just easier to do this because the world and its characters are created for you, so there’s no need to put any effort into it.
This makes me sad. I don’t wanna lose that enchantment I had when I was curled up on the couch reading fiction books, so caught up in the story that I couldn’t hear my mom talking to me. It’s depressing to think that I can’t just imagine myself somewhere else without feeling like maybe I won’t be able to “fall” for these fantasy tales anymore.
Along with this sense of somewhat lost wonder in fiction, has come a strong love for nonfiction. Since I took a nonfiction writing class in my last semester of college, I’m always looking in the recent biography or memoir section when I’m at the library or Barnes and Noble. I do look at the fiction section too, but it leans more towards the classics, and less toward the detective or mystery fiction I used to hold dear.
Speaking of classics, I tweeted several days ago about how Bria and I somehow graduated both high school and college without reading some of the main classics out there; books such as The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, To Kill a Mockingbird (I actually read this for fun in college, convicted that I had never indulged in such a classic book. I thought it was okay…maybe I should read it again).
And maybe this is all just because I’m getting older, and things change, and it’s not a bad thing. Interests change all the time. But as a writer too, I don’t want to disengage myself from reading fiction stories, from truly diving in and asking myself What is the writer trying to say here? and dissecting it, and also learning about the writing style as I read too.
I briefly spoke to my good friend/writing buddy Rachel yesterday about how it’s interesting how now we read books and stories that we’d read or heard when we were kids, and we have a totally different perspective on the story now. Something Rachel said was…
…I’m realizing I don’t know as much about them as I should! So I wanted to read them (The Lord of the Rings series) as an adult now.
And it’s made me think of all the books I sped through as a kid, or even as a teenager, just wanting to put another read book under my bookworm belt. But did I gain anything from that story? Did I learn anything? Did my views on life change because of what I read? This has all been very convicting. It’s making me want to go back to all those detective/thriller novels, and read them again to get a better understanding of, not just the story and its morals, but the author and the writing as well.
I am currently reading a fiction book by Toni Morrison – The Bluest Eye. And so far, I’ve been pretty hooked, which leaves me thankful that I’m not completely disconnected from the fictional world. And it’s also nice because I resonate with it in some ways. I felt the emotions and thoughts that are being portrayed in that book. I’ll definitely have to write a book review on it. And in that review, I’ll write whether or not it was hard for me to be engaged in the tale or not because it was fiction.
What do you think about the connection between fiction stories and growing up? Have you lost interest in fiction stories, or have you become more entranced by them knowing that you’ll be able to understand them more since you’re more mature than you were before?