Note 4/23/2014: This was my first post ever. My blog is no longer called The Read Room, but this still makes a good introduction to what I’m about here. Enjoy!
Hi. My name is Julie Israel, and I’m an aspiring writer.
At first I only wrote to mark special occasions– diaries were considered normal for a girl my age. Healthy.
But even before that, I enjoyed reading, and you know what they say about the books– how they glorify it– make writing seem all mysterious, and deep, and, well, cool. I distinctly remember the black and the white, the way the eyes drew the ink in, and oh, the unfiltered badassity that just radiated from someone with a casual page between their fingers.
Novels were my gateway. The day I got my library card, there was nothing anyone could do to stop me: I read, and I read, and I read. And when I wasn’t reading, I began falling into a habit far more unnatural and frightening: recreational writing. I got into letter exchange, short stories, rhymed verse. Hell, I attempted chapter books a few times (but I never really knew what I was doing, and mostly just wasted paper.) When I wrote something I was proud of, it passed through my inner circle so everyone could have a skim. That group was bad news. We all struggled with the same problems, and only enabled one another. One close friend and I– in secret, and on the side– even did crossover fan fiction for a while. Those were reckless times.
I had thought that classes would straighten me out, but didn’t know what I was in for: college was like a sanctioned, socially-acceptable haven for the word. Reading and writing weren’t just done by everyone; they were encouraged! That was when I started messing with poetry. Poignant, that stuff– clings to the senses.
A few years down the road and thousands of dollars thrown at a liberal arts education in writing later, I can’t stop. Even if I manage to stay off the shorts and the poems, in my mind I am still sucking on words, making edits, patching up plot holes. I’ll try to ignore it, to glut the urge by reading news in the morning, looking up a definition, jotting ideas down to be done with them– but to no avail. If I’m not careful, holding the creativity in only results in a mad project binge. I mean, I am blogging now. Blogging! And lately I keep having these terrible cravings to be published…
It gets worse. I’m not proud to admit this, but I’ve also developed a filthy, hipsterish affinity for bookshops (Any Portlanders out there? You may appreciate the play on Powell’s colored rooms–“Read“?) and buying more books than I will ever actually read or have the shelf space for. But when I see a good deal. I. can’t. NOT BUY IT. So yes, my shelves are stocked. To the undiscerning visitor, it might appear as though I read in moderation, but don’t be fooled– in every room, there are books. Books inside the cupboard. Books beneath the coats. Books stashed in drawers, between board games, under my pillow. There’s even one in my bag right now.
Are you addicted to words, too? The Read Room is a place where all reading, writing, and word-related things may gather and swap stories. What’s yours?