One evening, I really needed to work on my book. I was behind on my word count goal anyways. I should catch up, I told myself. I should just power through and get some words on the virtual page even though that's the last thing I felt like doing.
I was tired. I was intimidated by the looming task of writing that was set in front of me. So, I decided to start re-reading "Double Identity" by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
Sure, probably not the most productive thing to do in this moment. But it's what I needed.
I was stressed about my word count goal and feeling a little insecure, so I decided to go back to the time I figured out I wanted to pursue writing in the first place.
I read the first few chapters and was immediately transported back to my middle school days when I consumed book after book and thought, for the first time, "it would be pretty awesome to be an author one day."
I've always loved stories. It began with my childhood obsession with "Goodnight Moon," probably. After that, the first book I remember absolutely loving was "Toliver's Secret" by Esther Wood Brady. From then, it was the Betsy Tacy books, the Nancy Drew books, and anything by Kate DiCamillo (but especially "The Tale of Despereaux"). I couldn't get enough of these stories. I found comfort in these books and they began to inspire me to pursue writing.
Eventually, I read "Inkheart" by Cornelia Funke. This story is the one that convinced me that my words could have power. In fact, it was one paragraph in particular that I remember because each time I reread this book, it all comes back to me. It's a nostalgic confidence boost every time.
I later found inspiration in books like the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix, and, of course, "Double Identity." Each time I reread these stories, I'm reminded of that inspiration.
"But isn't rereading books a waste of time? I mean, you've already read them, so what's the point?" says the doubt in my mind.
The point is, I enjoyed reading them so much the first time that I want to relive that feeling through rereading the book later. I found an emotional connection in these stories, and they bring me comfort when I reread them. I love to sit in a nostalgia for a while and let all the emotions from when I was younger and first discovering these stories come flying back at me.
I would encourage anyone and everyone to take some time to reread a good book. It's not a waste of time because we all need to be reminded of where we came from and we all need rest. Find something that takes you back to a favorite time of your childhood. Find something that helped shape your values. And find something you enjoyed—and enjoy it again.