A Writing Life: Appreciation

Monday, June 6, 2016


I see books differently now that I write them.

I've alway been a reader of everything. Mysteries, romances, memoirs, cereal boxes. If it has words, I'm all over it. I even worked as a book reviewer for sixteen years. Which taught me a lot. Not only about how to be a reader, but also how to be a writer.

Not long ago I was in Powell's bookstore in Portland, Oregon. A place someone like me could spend an entire week inside and not see all I would want to see. As I wandered around, taking in the many shelves filled with books, I thought of each one as someone's blood, sweat, and tears poured out on the page. Maybe they wrote it fast. Maybe it took years. Maybe it's a book that's not even written well, but someone did it. Thought it up. Created it.

I believe that alone should be appreciated.

It's not unlike sculptures or paintings. Not everyone may understand it or even connect with it, but anyone can appreciate the time and energy - all the work that went into it. In a time where things move so fast, it's easy to forget to appreciate all that goes into a work of art. A piece of literature. At the tap of a finger we can have books in our hands, read them, then quickly want the next one. I read fast. I do it too. But I want to make sure I stop and acknowledge behind the scenes. Give a mental high five to the author. Because it's hard work. It takes time and effort, in many cases, sacrifice.

I want to make sure I show my appreciation. 

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