Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Inner Fan

So, I was returning from the barn at 10pm last night on the Metro (subway/Underground/tube in various other cities). One of Greg's friends gave us a box full of old paperbacks and magazines.

There I was sitting on the metro reading the October 1957 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction (before anyone gets too excited, it's definitely in condition "well read") when I hear a voice, "How old is that magazine?"

I looked up and sitting across from me was an elderly gentleman. When I told him, he promptly started enthusing about the old magazines, admitting that he was reading them at the age of 17. That made him, quick math, 73. Going on...17. The conversation ended with me telling him I was a writer, cursing the fact that I was out of bookmarks (I'm not out, just didn't have any more on me), and giving him my name and book title.

I don't know if he'll buy the book...but at some levels it doesn't matter. We connected as fans. I honestly think he was amazed to see somebody who's not even quite forty reading Golden Age science fiction. (Truth: I love golden age sci-fi. Adore it. Guilty secret out).

This got me thinking about something that's been a bit on my mind lately. Writers choose genres they like to read.

That is to say, in the heart of every writer, there's a fan. It's easy to let the writing become a job and the books become a chore. It's easy to forget to make time to read, whether it's regency romances, golden age science fiction, or the latest big name thriller.

But if we don't nurture our inner fan, we'll lose touch with why we started writing in the first place. So, call to writers. Give your inner fan some time. Watch a good television show, read a good book. When you're at a con, find a few hours to dress up in a silly costume or chase your favorite writer with a book and a pen. Keep in touch with your inner fan. I'm not saying don't be professional, far from it.

Just don't forget you were and still are a fan. Don't lose the magic.

UPDATES:

If you want to hear the British accent (which I come by, along with my love for all things Who, quite honestly), +Tim Dodge interviewed me for "The Geek Side of Life" this week and the podcast is now live. You can download it here.

Fellow author James DiBenedetto has written a review of Transpecial on his Writing Dreams blog (full disclosure, we know each other pretty well). You can read the review here.