I Look At Books Differently

I look at books differently
now that I’m a writer.
Where once they were a price tag,
a number of hours at a job
before I could buy one,
I now see
days,
months,
years
of love and labor.
So many more hours than can ever be repaid.
No book is only worth the price tag on the cover.
I see something
Invaluable.

I look at books differently
now that I’m a writer.
Where once I saw a masterpiece,
art that sprang from the artist
whole,
brilliant,
and unique.
I now see multiple drafts,
scrapped sub plots,
characters added and erased.
I often read a book and wonder,
“How did you look
in first draft form?
What changed in you along the way?”
I see
metamorphosis.

I look at books differently
now that I’m a writer.
Where once I saw a story
existing in it’s own plane,
it’s own time.
As real as real can be.
I now open the cover of a book
and feel like I’m flipping through the contents
of the authors mind.
The connecting of synapses in the words,
gray matter on the pages.
Brain power,
creativity,
and a spark of something indefinable.
I see
life.

I look at books differently
now that I’m a writer.
Where once I saw a single artist,
author,
creator.
I now see all the hands that helped to shape a story.
The critique partners, beta readers,
agents and editors.
I see the revision notes, given lovingly,
and the nights of self doubt they created.
I see so many people believing
in another person’s dream,
in their make-believe,
even when the author didn’t,
couldn’t.
I see
a village.

I look at books differently
now that I’m a writer.
Where once I saw a story,
diversion,
escape.
Now I see a world view
and a hope of something better.
I see the author
examining every thought,
every theme.
I see the vulnerable parts of them
that sneak into the scenes.
The questions
they must ask themselves a million times
given to the characters they create.
And in the end,
I see the author
find themselves,
find their answer.
I see
truth.

I look at books differently
now that I’m a writer.

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