I’ve been getting sentimental ever since the end of November appeared on the horizon.
The early days were all about inspiration, getting back into the habit of writing every day, oftentimes even more than once a day, and running on a combo of ‘I really need to write this‘ and ‘I really need to write this now‘.
Nowadays, I’m all about the ‘why’ and the ‘deeper’, more meaningful reasons for writing, day in, day out. And since this year’s NaNo novel I’m working on is all about the things I love—or, more importantly, things I used to love when I’d first started writing—let us take a Monday moment to pay our respects to all the writers who had made us into the readers (and writers) we are today.
Here’s to the children’s authors who made us lose our sight and fall in love with serial novels early enough to never even ask the question ‘am I the right kind of person to grow up to be an avid reader’?
Here’s to the groundbreaking writers from the 20th century who still come off as controversial nowadays, in this curious world sometimes going backwards, who taught us to go after the weird stories, the quirky characters, the hard choices, event when it didn’t seem to make sense at the first glance.
Here’s to the early fantasy writers—and their innumerable copycats—who made us dream big enough to go on building our own worlds, our own religion systems, our own societies, even if some of us didn’t end up enlisting among the hordes of their followers, but we’ve read enough progressive writers, too, to (try to) do something completely different.
Here’s to the writers we hated enough to make an effort to try and write better than them. The writers who were too scared, or too mainstream, to make an actual difference. The writers who were shoved down our throats during early education, the writers who still end up being praised for their limp prose and their 19th century values. Here’s to all of them, because they made an even bigger impact with their bad examples.
Here’s to the writers who made an effort to share their experience with the rest of the world, through their blogs and their books and their words of encouragement in person, and who never once felt like there’s not enough space for us all.
Here’s to the writers who scared the hell out of us as kids, confused us to hell and back as youngsters, made us think about why their stories worked as young adults, and changed the way we write forever as—whatever the hell we are now.
Here’s to Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, because fuck it, they deserve an honorary mention by name, for all they’ve done throughout the years for genre fiction all over.
And here’s to all of the writers we will read next—including people who haven’t even started writing yet!—who will forever go on molding the way we see this curiously illogical world around us, the way we understand the even curiouser people around us, and the way we try to add to the wonderous wide world of fiction for all humankind to come.
Photo by Hernán Piñera.