Do you read? Do you write? Odds are you do both. I think there’s a great deal of crossover between readers and writers. In fact, I believe both are linked by love of the written word.
I’ve loved to write since I was nine. My first foray into making much ado about it was when I wrote a play called “The Principal Who Hated Easter.” I also enlisted my entire third grade class to participate in putting on a show. Being a “bossy” girl, I got to not just write and direct, but even play a starring role as the teacher who gets the Easter Bunny to have a little chat with the principal.
It really does start with love. I mean, anyone who loves to write can’t tell you where it comes from. They can just tell you that it is.
The same goes for reading. Not every person sees the magic of books. I don’t know how many times I’ve encountered people who say, “I don’t read. Sorry.” Trust me, I’m not offended. I don’t watch action movies.
The thing about books is if the author writes with love, then that really shines through on the pages. Think about the books you love the most. Then think about the person who wrote them. For me, it would be pretty much anything by Jane Austen. Now consider where that author was coming from. For Jane, writing about love and marriage, and her observations about a woman’s “place” in society were key. She wrote with humor, sometimes highlighting the ridiculous. This was one way to show how frustrating her world was at the time, what with women depending upon marriage to increase their social standing.
So when you sit down to write or read, think about the love behind the words. I think it takes love, not to mention excellent grammar, to make a great story. If you’re not writing for love, then why bother?