Friday, May 8, 2015

My Soul on the Page

I’ve studied and read some of the greatest writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. I’ve delved into Chekhov’s short stories, admiring them, falling in love with his style and storytelling. I’ve let myself fall into Neil Gaiman’s realm of magical realism. I’ve nodded in agreement, sneered, and shaken my head while reading the gritty tales and poems of Charles Bukowski. There are many writers to read and discover, yet not enough time in which to do it.
Most read to escape. I open a book to gain insight. I want to discover truth or a hidden door that leads me into a mindset that I’ve never ventured to before. I want to hammer away at the shell of ignorance and uncover a part of myself I never knew.
When I read it’s at night, in my bed, while my body and mind are at their most relaxed. I absorb the words on the page and only this time and space exist. Real work doesn’t exist. No coworkers. No bosses. The moment is guarded. Nothing else matters.
In these stories, I admire the heroes that make me laugh, that make me feel that I am marching alongside them. I admire the writer who makes me a part of her story whether I want to be or not. I admire the characters with real-life struggles and hardships. These are my people.
Reading the stories by these writers, I’ve learned many wonderful lessons, as a writer myself and as a human being. What I probably enjoy more than the story being told is the tone and style in which it is written. In my efforts of reading and studying these magnificent writers, I hope to grasp a little of what makes them who they are and redefine it as my own.
For any writer, to have her own style and tone for which she’s known is a gift, or prize. I want the woman who lies in her bed at night reading as I do to know that what she reads unmistakably belongs to me. I want the words to be my own. I want a little of my soul left on the page.

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