Like millions of others, I bought Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. (I won't review it here: I'm not deep enough into it, and there'd be little I could add to the lengthy discussion anyway.) You see, I'm a writer, and for too long I forgot that writers need to be readers too. At least any writer worth her salt has to. Sure, I read all the time: blogs, Facebook posts, news, those vapid little quizzes like the ones Amy Dunne journals about in Flynn's bestseller. But I wasn't making time to consume books. This is what I want to write; this is what I should be reading, right?
And, sadly, I had forgotten what an amazing influence any piece of literature can be on how you process and express. It doesn't matter that I saw the movie and know the ending. What matters is the scenery I'll take in along the way. That "scenery" is inspiring me. I'm taken with how Flynn puts her words together, and it's a reminder to me to be fearless in being my authentic self and doing what comes natural to me -- rules be damned.
It's not a blatant influence, one where I'm compelled to borrow wording or "Ooh, nice use of punctuation! Think I'll be using that!" It's just a nice butterfly effect that happens when you walk outside of your pristine bubble once in a while. It's the casual brush against a stranger in the supermarket that transfers coat fibers or cat hair -- maybe even the cold virus -- onto you. You don't even know it's there, but it's there. And it changes your world in little and not-so-little ways without your even realizing it. You don't have to go out looking for it; just let it happen.
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