I’m going to indulge in what might be a terrible metaphor. It’s about books. Not the ones I write, but the ones I read. And I read a lot of books.
I read for a lot of reasons. First of all, I enjoy it. My favorite books to read for fun involve plucky young heroines performing seemingly impossible tasks, usually with humor thrown in, and maybe a little romance. Of course, I also need heavier fare. Most of my favorite books overall tend to deal with deep themes and richly imagined worlds, not always an overlap.
Stress relief is also something I get from books. In the purest form, books are an escape. The best ones are more, but even in cases where that doesn’t happen if you can keep my attention long enough I will read your book and forget about my life for a little while. Generally this helps my brain a lot. I become a happier human less likely to cry on someone or get irrationally angry at them for something. We all have personality quirks, and mine is that I stew on things and berate myself over them unless I can be effectively distracted. Books help with that.
The other thing books do for me is inspire. Getting us back to that metaphor.
Books are my rocket fuel. When I read a good book, and often when I read a bad one, I itch with the need to write. Words are consumed, and they become more words. I create. Honestly, this is the best feeling in the world. The feeling of words moving through me to become other words is an incredibly transcendent and intimate thing. I am celestial in those moments. I have made it to the stars.