Even being myself, I find that (err, rather, THIS) self often paradoxical.
From a young age, I have always preferred non-fiction. My shelves were lined with primarily animal, plant, and bug books. My current reading consists primarily of science articles with some blog posts in the mix. If you don’t know me well, this may seem to make sense– Maybe I’m just a person of concrete logic. The thing is, though, that I am not.
What typically comes out in a well-constructed manner is actually composed of a multitude of abstractions. Beyond my articles, I have an even higher love for quotes, for human language and poetic notion (and the embarrassingly high number of such likes and pins via Pinterest to prove it!). I have journals filled with quotes, and my personal entries explore topics of ideals, moral conflict, and acceptance. My preference is to get the gist of things and then fill in the details I deem necessary, not to clutter my mental space with arbitrary specifics. This so much that it’s not uncommon for me to guide my parents when they are relaying an event such that they jump to the important parts.
So it both does and doesn’t make sense. I like non-fiction because it is brief, interesting, and to-the-point (the forms I read), and avoid fiction because it is more likely convoluted; But I think in a manner more directly addressed in fiction writing, and find it mentally grating when accounts are too merely factual. Yet I’ve always struggled with actually reading fiction: books require a commitment that articles do not, and you never know if you like one until you’re actually through it. It all just seemed more trouble than it’s worth. That is, until…
I decided to give myself a challenge. What was at first going to be a writing challenge became a fiction reading challenge. I realized that before writing comes reading, and that the way I write and think would be supported by reading material that speaks to that mode.*
I am one week in and have read one book (remember I spend most of my hours in classes or doing work/other reading for classes, so this is a pretty good pace!). I read Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” since I knew it was an easy read and something I would be interested in.
I’d love to know any personal favorite fiction reads or suggestions for what I should read!
Keep growing and expanding– heart and mind.
*For me, inciting change is about identifying what makes sense to me. Not everyone functions this same way, though. What may be a helpful resource to you is Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies (quiz link: http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2015/01/ta-da-the-launch-of-my-quiz-on-the-four-tendencies-learn-about-yourself/). It is a way of identifying how you meet expectations and in that may inform you about what checks and balances will lead to your greatest possibility of ongoing success.
Note: I am a Questioner