novels

Why I read.

I wasn’t always the type of person to enjoy reading a book. I’m only 18 now and frankly I didn’t start to enjoy it until about a year ago, which was lucky because by then I’d already settled on studying English Literature which, as you might guess, involves a lot of reading.

Just finishing up my latest venture into the written word and I had that amazing feeling of clarity. That feeling is what I search for in novels.

I love beginning a book not knowing what’s going to happen, it’s that feeling of stepping off the stairs into the darkness below trusting that there’s another step to catch your fall. I like that feeling, and it escalates as the novel continues, throwing facts and details at you that individually make no sense but in a bigger picture with context make a world of sense.

You start to draw conclusions and links between things that haven’t quite happened yet, in the hope that they will and prove you right. Eventually you end up with a web of speculation, the novel is the torch shining through those intricate details, just waiting to illuminate some major plot point to tie it all together.

Eventually it gives you a glimpse towards the end and it’s suddenly locked on and focused to the end goal, the big reveal, when it all concludes in sudden realisation. Everything falls into place, those loose ends? Consider them dealt with. Characters become fully rounded and you’re left to ponder what may happen next.

It’s sad though, I find it sad at least, that books have to end. Sometimes I think I’d be quite happy to suspend myself in this world created by the author and go about my days following a main character and their interactions but that’s the reality of it. It has to end, I have to come to acceptance with this every time I read a book.

Just some musings I found myself thinking of while finishing a novel. Hope you agree!

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An arts course…what are you going to do with that?

I’m guessing the majority of arts students dread the question “What exactly are you going to do with your chosen subject?” and I can confidently say I am part of that majority. This is when the verbal waffle-irons heat up and I talk my way out of a rather awkward situation.

Well, actually, you see, there are many career paths I can progress towards when I finish my four years of study. Such as, you ask? Well…

Jobs are hard to come by, I do understand, the economy isn’t in great shape. However, I still think arts related careers are as pertinent, if not more so, than they’ve ever been. In the past few years I’ve gotten to know several people who are successful in what they do creatively, they’re an inspiration, to be truthful. To see someone making money from genuine hard work is rather refreshing after hearing about yet another banker’s spending scandal.

I have plenty of ideas of what to do when I finish University, as many of us students do. Blogging for example, I’ve toyed with the idea of making money from blogging for years, partly why I’ve started again. That doesn’t mean it has to happen, but writing something is always motivational towards the end goal of somehow making money from the words I tie together.

The current goal, is to get published in print. Be it for a newspaper, a magazine, or a fully fledged novel in the future. I want to be able to hold my own work in my hands having had it approved and sent off by someone else who is willing to stand by it. Reading just makes me want this more, to think every novel or magazine I hold is a perfect testimony to the fact that it happens, people get published every day and millions of books are put into print. If their dreams can come true, why not mine?

I was in a lecture a few weeks ago and the man speaking was analysing a poem (a rather beautiful poem at that) to eventually reveal he was the poet behind it. We see careers possible from an arts degree every day, I think we don’t realise until it’s pointed out exactly where the work is. Even the most simple of things like an advertisement on the side of a bus, someone had to come up with whatever words are strewn across it, meaning someone got paid for that.

So when someone asks me “what are you going to do with that?” in that snarky ‘I’ll have fries with that‘ tone, it’s so obvious to me what I want to say…the words just aren’t there due to surprise that it isn’t obvious to everyone else.