Skip to main content

Maybe Fiction Isn't a Waste After All...


I've often wondered why people read fiction.

I can count the number of fiction books I've read in my adult life on one hand. My reading appetite has always been a steady stream of non-fiction with a heavy emphasis on spirituality, self-help, biographies and cooking. Anything else has always felt like a waste of time -- something that wouldn't really apply to my life. Being the consummate time manager, my goals always center on something meaningful that I can use in everyday life.

Fiction to me, has always felt like an escape. My thought has been,"If I need to escape my life, I'll just read something that can help me get rid of whatever is so sucky it's making me want to escape my life..."

And that's pretty much how I lived until last year when my friend Rich Tatum was talking to me about reading fiction. He encouraged me very strongly that I needed to start reading it. Rich says that for me to go to the next level as a writer  I need to read more than non-fiction. So, I did what I always do when Rich tells me something...I do it. I'm sure his wife Jennifer would say, "oh my gosh -- SCARY!!" at this revelation that I do whatever Rich tells me to do.

Well, when it comes to writing, I trust him. He's taught me so much about writing and the industry. (Thanks, Rich!)

We've been on vacation since Sunday afternoon. Of course I brought plenty of reading material with me, including my Kindle. I've got so many books in the queue.  So many non-fiction titles, that is.
Inevitably I always seem to take non-fiction books and try to apply them toward my work life. So I decided at the last minute that on this vacation I was going to read absolutely no non-fiction except the Bible. This week I've been reading an older fiction book, The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan.

Today at Daytona Beach I went by myself with the book, and sat at the edge of the water, reading the book while the waves came up and washed over my toes. At one point in the book I found myself welling up with tears, relating to the experience of one of the characters. During another chapter I experienced an understanding of why I feel the way I do in one of my personal circumstances, seeing the same issue through the eyes of one the women in the book. Although the book is centered a lot on Chinese culture, and I am not Chinese, other aspects of the book have resonated with me.

Recently when reading The Hunger Games, after my kids begged me to, I came to the realization I loved the series most because one of the characters, Peeta, reminds me so much of my son Dustin.

I have discovered that people don't always read fiction as an escape. We can learn a lot about ourselves by observing the lives of fictional characters.

I am thinking it's probably best for some of us not to share what characters we relate to, in the books we read. :)


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Relevant Church doing something...

incredibly RELEVANT!

I just heard some news today that really inspired me. A church here in Tampa, Relevant Church is doing a new thing this month called the "30 Days Sex Challenge." (I've never visited the church but Pastor Trinity - our children's pastor - has visited or has met some people from this church and he was very impressed.) Realizing that this is a major element missing from some marriages (the frequency factor) their lead pastor, Paul Wirth, has issued a challenge for all the married couples to have sex for 30 days in a row. At the same time he has issued a challenge for all unmarrieds to completely abstain from sex. Of course we know the Bible says that those who are unmarried should not have sex in the first place but the point is, a lot of unmarried's aren't obeying the Lord's command to abstain and this is just one pastor's way of trying to get them to see that indeed, there is a better way! (God's way!) At the same time, many married couples are no

What Verbal Abuse is Really Like, and Why We Must Care
Guest Post: Terri von Wood

In my speaking travels, I meet the most amazing people. Some are connections that go beyond just a night or a weekend of preac hing. One day on my journey, I met Terri von Wood, and we immediately clicked and have been friends ever since.  Just a reminder that all of our guest bloggers this week are available to chat with you in the comment section here on the blog or on my facebook page where the blog is also published.   *** People who have never suffered through or witnessed abuse (including pastors) often don't know how to help women in abusive situations. Knowledge is power and it is my belief that if the church understood the prevalence of abuse, help would be made available.  First, we must acknowledge that the divorce rate is the same  in the church as in the world.  Second, we must understand that the 50% divorce rate does not include all the women who are abused but stay because they do not know what else to do or do not have anyone to turn to.  If those women we

I am a Spiritual Abuse Survivor
Guest Post: Leanne Weber

I met Leanne Weber years ago through Pastoring Partners Network . She now serves as one of our amazing PPN writers. Back when I first met her she was pastoring and in the midst of an abusive church situation. I as well as several of our other leaders at PPN walked through that painful journey with her and observed her as she went from hurting to whole. She's got an amazing story to share and the following is just part of it. Just a reminder that all of our guest bloggers this week are available to chat with you in the comment section here on the blog or on my facebook page where the blog is also published.             I am a certifiable mess right now. I cannot get any work done, because I don't even want to be here. I am just...tired. I am tired of dealing with church people. If I was truly called, then I'd be able to handle this. I am sick of the only thing keeping me here being the fact that we have bills to pay, and we are finally in a place where we are fi