Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Prompted: Inspiring Books

Inspiring Books

As writers, we all love to read good books for inspiration. What book inspired you as a writer and why?

I’ve been reading since I was three, so it would be easy to come up with dozens of books that have inspired me in one way or another. I would say that The Bell Jar and The Rape of Nanking inspired me to write, so I find those two some of the most important books that I’ve ever read. 

This was before Young Adult books really started to become popular, so once I was out of elementary school, I went straight for the Adult Section of the local library. I read Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar for the first time when I was 11 and the first book that ever changed my life. The way that Plath told that story through Esther Greenwood mesmerized me. I read the book at least once a year for close to a decade straight.

Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking wasn’t the most appropriate book for a seventh going into eighth grader should’ve been reading, but so much of my world view and the way I saw other people changed by reading it. I hold it very important even though it’s a non-fiction book because of the lengths Chang went through to tell the stories of people who could no longer tell their own. It put a call into me that the reason a person picks up a pen or opens their laptop isn’t to tell a pretty story where everyone lives happily ever after; it’s to tell a story that needs to be told. A story that will not leave them alone or give them rest until they get it out of them. Success is nice, but is not necessary; you only have to stay true to yourself and give a voice to something or someone that can’t do it for themselves for one reason or another.  

Though both authors have passed, they left masterpieces behind that have touched my life in such profound ways. I will always be grateful for the gifts that they gave me.

What book or books have inspired you? Why have they done so? 

            Check out prompt and other Writing Digest prompts here.

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