My How You've Changed

 The other day, I was thinking about how much I've changed over the past few years. We all change every day, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about how much I've changed as a writer and as a reader.

So writing first. I've always loved reading fiction, but when I started to write it seriously, I quickly learned that I knew nothing. I took classes, read books, joined a couple of really fantastic online critique groups and a couple I couldn't leave fast enough. I started with short mystery fiction. It was a great teacher. I sold a few stories; one won an award.

But novels were and still are my true love. So finally I wrote one. It's still in the drawer, but I scavenge bits and pieces from time to time. Then parts of two more stories and a full second novel that is also still in the drawer. The first was a police mystery. The second, a thriller.

Then came romantic suspense, heavier on suspense than romance. Those were the first published. Then Gracie, adding in some paranormal elements. And currently the House Witches, women's fantasy fiction.

A lot of changes, a bit of growth, and a more confident me, although most days you wouldn't know that if you could listen to what's going on in my head when I write.

During this same time period, my reading preferences and habits also changed. I began to read outside my preferred genres of thriller and romantic suspense . I read books that went deeper into character. I read funny rom-coms and funny mysteries. I read all sorts of things.

Then covid struck the world. And with it, major social upheaval. I could no longer read the things I had always loved. I didn't want my head in that space. There was too much drama in real life. Now I'm mostly a totally lightweight reader. And I suppose lightweight author as well. The House Witches have just about all the serious drama I can handle. And if you've read them, you know that's not much.

How about you? Has your reading and/or writing changed? If so, how?

P.S. This month marks The Beagle's third Gotcha Day! We're all in love ♥


Leigh Caron said…
I used to read Cussler, Clancy, Dan Brown, King, but then switched to Women's Fiction when I started to write it. "Read what you write," they say. Enjoyed your post.
L. Diane Wolfe said…
I still check Fox news every morning for the stupidity of the world, but not like I was a couple years ago as that stuff weighs on you. As for reading books, I'm all about the cooking and cookbooks right now.
Natalie Aguirre said…
My reading has changed a lot over the years too. I can't read as much high fantasy and read a good mix of genres in middle grade, young adult, and adult fiction. I'm definitely reading more adult fiction.

And I think it's good that you're branching out with your writing. Many successful authors write in different genres and for different age groups these days.
H. R. Sinclair said…
I've been happy in my fantasy world. 😅

Happy Gotcha Day. We just adopted a rescue (about 6 weeks ago)!
Before I had kids (a long time ago), I used to read and enjoy Stephen King books. As soon as I had children, though, it's like a switch was flipped. Aside from skipping horror, I'd say that my reading encompasses more genres now.
My writing and reading have both changed in the past decade or so as well. I went for a long time without any fiction at all because I was so busy editing. Since then I've gotten back to reading a lot, which is wonderful because I love it so much.
Carol Kilgore said…
Leigh - I used to read that same group, too. Just can't now. I'm glad you enjoyed this post :)

Diane - I love to cook. I like finding new recipes and ideas and making them my own.

Natalie - I read mostly adult fiction. I think it would be difficult for me to write young adult or children's fiction.

H.R. - Fantasy is fun! Rescues are awesome ♥

Elizabeth - Exactly like a switch! I read Dean Koontz occasionally. I like the way he strings words together.

Karen - There have been a few times in my life, too, when I haven't been able to read. And other times when all I want to do is read.

I was sure I commented yesterday. Gone to spam? I read every day. From a variety of genres. Change is as good as a holiday? And I am so grateful to writers. All of you. You enrich my world.
Jemi Fraser said…
My reading tastes have changed as well. In my 20s I could read the deep and the dark. Now, I prefer that lighter tone as well. Life is tough enough - I want my reading to make me happy!
Carol Kilgore said…
EC - And I am grateful for readers! As are most authors. It makes me happy to make you happy :)

Jemi - I mostly read to be entertained in a fun way.
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