When I was a kid, the first thing I remember reading is a comic book. It was World’s Finest Comics issue 184, dated May 1969. I was 5 years old. I’m sure that I read other comics before that, but it’s the one that stuck in my mind. It was while reading that comic that I had the realization that people create things. An actual person drew the pictures. Someone made up the story and wrote the dialog. If people do that stuff, that meant that I could do it, too.
Some bibliophiles will say that they read because they love language, or well-told tales, or the elements of genre. A lot of people will tell you that they became writers, and love writing, for the same reasons that they love reading. For me, in an abstract way, reading connected me with people. Real people who were far away, that I would never meet. Folks who were different from me. People in countries I might never visit. People who were dead, but still able to connect with me. I wanted to be able to do that.
It was a mind-blowing concept to a 5 year old. If you stop to think about it, that’s a mind-blowing concept as an adult. I’m sitting here in my kitchen Jyväskylä, Finland, at 2:45 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, 22 April 2017, writing these words. You are wherever you are, whenever you are, reading them. Now we’re connected, fleetingly. Reading is an amazing superpower. It’s a form of magic. How could I not want to close the loop and write as well, reaching out to others the way so many writers have reached out to me?
You can read more about Why I Write here.