“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy – which many believe goes hand in hand with it – will be dead as well.” ~Margaret Atwood
As a young reader and writer, I accept the responsibility to share my enthusiasm. The world of words is one that anyone can find passion in, if you let your imagination wander.
I can’t seem to go anywhere without a book (or two, just in case I finish the first one) and a notepad. Reading has always been a love of mine, but I didn’t enjoy writing for quite a long time. In all honesty, I used to despise it. The only true experiences I’d had with writing were school assigned papers and research essays that left little room for creativity, making writing feel more like a chore.
In my last year of middle school, a friend of mine began to write fanfictions based off of Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. I was a huge fan of the original series, and she would come to me several times a week with new developments to her story using the characters I’d already fallen in love with. She’d ask me for feedback on what she’d written and ideas of how she could continue the plot. As I read more and more of her writing, I began to think of my own possible plot twists to the books. I’d jot random passages down on loose-leaf notebook paper, intending to eventually incorporate them into my own fanfiction.
That was where my love of writing really began. The ability to be creative, even if there was already a solid foundation in a published book, increased my desire to write. I still have that first fanfiction I ever wrote in a notebook on my bookshelf. Even looking back at it now, with the horrible word arrangements and plot fillers (my dialogue usage was particularly bad), I am thankful for the gateway it gave me into my passion for writing.
Because I read so much, many friends and family members would come to me for book recommendations. I was always thrilled to recount my latest book. Somewhere along the line I got the idea to start a blog of all the books I’d fallen in love with.
I searched on Google for blog sites, and stumbled across WordPress. I created Literary Obsessions, and immediately began to write reviews – that I never posted. In the first five months of having the blog, I was extremely self-conscious about my writing. I didn’t think any of my reviews gave the books the justice they deserved. Most of these are still sitting, unpublished, in my posts.
I forgot about the blog for a long time. Another friend of mine introduced me to Instagram, where I created an account purely for books (@shadowhunter_runes_1234). I didn’t really intend for the page to go anywhere, but I enjoyed connecting to other book lovers around the world. I was able to follow all of my favorite authors and discover new ones as well. After having the account for several months and posting almost obsessively on it every day, I stumbled across the page of Branded authors Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki. The most recent post on the page was a picture asking for readers to write reviews on their book, which was not yet released. I jumped at the opportunity, knowing that if I had the pressure of an author counting on my review, I would be able to stick with my writing until I deemed it “perfect”.
Miraculously, I was chosen to receive a digital copy of Branded to R&R (read and review). I began reading it as soon as it downloaded to my Nook, and tore through it in about three days. Never in my life was I more excited to write a review. After the review was posted, Abi and Missy publicized it on their page, which drew the attention of other independent authors to my blog. I began receiving requests over Instagram from people asking me if they could send me their books to review. I was over the moon. Authors were asking for my opinions on their books. My confidence in my writing grew, and I began to post more often, also editing and including some of the original reviews I had written.
Through writing, I have had the opportunity to connect with amazing authors whom I would have never heard of before. The review requests I received introduced me to several books that now top my list of favorites. As I continue to grow in my writing, I hope to share my passions for such books to anyone who reads my work.
Thank you for reading!
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