Getting Hooked on Writing (And Reading)

My foray into writing fiction came after reading Harry Potter. You can laugh at that if you want, but not only did those books transform reluctant young readers like me into avid readers, they also inspired us to become writers. I think I was about ten or eleven years old when I wrote my first story, a fantasy piece about a made-up queen of Atlantis (or maybe that was her name?), and it was about that many typed pages, too, so not a bad accomplishment for an amateur 😉

When I say I used to be a reluctant reader, that’s putting it mildly. I remember fighting my mom tooth and nail every evening after school with reading practice (poor mom). And I HATED the sight of her homemade flashcards. Although I seem to remember enjoying getting shiny metallic stickers when I did well, the whole exercise was boring and took FOREVER to get through. I can only imagine how miserable the whole ordeal must have been for my mom.

The turning point came on a Thanksgiving road trip to see out-of-state family. My mom brought along audio-book cassette tapes of Prisoner of Azkaban that she’d checked out from the library. The whole family was immediately hooked. It didn’t matter that she accidentally picked the third book in the series. I wanted more.

It didn’t happen right away, but when school let out for the summer, I started reading Sorcerer’s Stone on my own. It was slow going the entire time, and I had to frequently ask my mom for help, but I couldn’t set the book down. My mom would have to pry it out of my fingers at bedtime, and even so I’d still sneak it under my covers with a flashlight. Harry Potter made it into most of my childhood games of pretend, and I even hand stitched a J.K. Rowling sock puppet-doll for an English class presentation.

Reading and finding books I liked came much more easily to me after that, and I wrote my own stories, usually about witches, ghosts, magical horses and elves. And I loved it. That love of fantasy writing and storytelling has stuck with me ever since. It’s my favorite genre to read. And to be honest, it’s the only one I write.

But what about you? What book(s) got you into reading/writing?

6 thoughts on “Getting Hooked on Writing (And Reading)

  1. Yes! J.K Rowling must have put some form of spell on her book that made every reader not only fall in love with her book but with reading too! I had just recently started to get into reading at that point and i remember my cousin telling me i had to read Harry Potter and i’d love it but i was determined not to read it because it just wasn’t original seeing as everyone was raving about it. I also tried watching one of the movies a few times and didn’t care for it so i figured I wouldn’t like the book. Eventually, i craved and picked it up. I flew right through all 7 books! To this day, 8 years later, i hardly ever finish a trilogy, let alone a series with 7 books! I need to re-read it.

    • I should really re-read the series, too! Relive some of that magic 😉 Can’t say I’ve struggled to finish a trilogy or series since, although there have been cases where a book I was reading was a part of series, and I didn’t know. Whoops. Goodreads has opened my eyes to this.

      What other series have you attempted? What do you typically like to read?

      • Yes! I love goodread! It’s super helpful in keeping track of what i’m reading and what book is where.

        I love reading thriller and mystery but romance always steals my heart. I acc can’t think of a series I’ve recently read but there’s been far to many. How about you in terms of favorite series and typical read?

      • I love Outlander. And I’m currently reading the Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden, which I really like. My tastes usually lean towards fantasy, paranormal, and romance, both as genres and in-subplot. I’m never more obsessed with a book than when it has an incredible love story and fairytale elements like magic, enchantment, and monsters. That’s always been my favorite. Can’t put my finger on why.

        I like mysteries, too! Read a lot of Nancy Drew in middle school, but kind of got away from the genre. I did read The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny a couple years ago though and that was good. One of my friends loves Jo Nesbo’s work; I hear he writes some good thriller/mystery books 😉 What are your favorites?

  2. I find myself occasionally picking up fantasy books but when i do, I always love them! Recently, i’ve been trying to branch out of what i usually read, which is why i joined a bookclub because it definitely helps with reading different genres.

    I can’t say i have a favorite author or book in the thriller/mystery section, which sucks but I’m going to have to check out Jo Nesbo’s work! Thanks!

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