Finding Inspiration in Other Writers

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”   Dr. Seuss

Most people agree good role models are imperative. These men and women give us something to aspire to, and someone to look up to. They can even motivate us to do great work.

So that got me thinking; who are some famous authors that inspired me to become a writer? As a child, what books did I look forward to reading even into the late night?

Oldies but Goodies

For me, there are several writers I really enjoyed reading when I was younger.  At the top of my list would be Dr. Seuss because his books were so entertaining and fun to read.

I read Dr. Seuss, as they say, “24/7”. I read them over and over and over and over again. I had my mom read them to me. I had my dad read them to me. I couldn’t wait for the next book to come out. I was a “Seussaddict!”

Classics like The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and Horton Hears a Who were stories I read repetitively. The stories were silly and funny and made me giggle. Yet, I learned to read and learned the basics of word building. With many of the stories, I learned something even more important, to play with language which allowed me to see as a youngster that our language is fun!

Although there seemed to be little to no storyline in most Dr. Seuss stories, I was forced to pay attention to words and how they related to the illustrations. An important skill for later becoming a children’s picture book author!

Strange Stories

Later in my youth, I stumbled upon another writer who captured my maturing mind–Chris van Allsburg.

Illustrator/author Chris van Allsburg mesmerized me with stories like Two Bad Ants, The Stranger, Jumanji and of course, The Polar Express. I loved the illustrations, but the stories captured my imagination. Soon, I found myself collecting every new Chris van Allsburg book until I had almost every one of them.

Van Allsburg’s books were fun to read because something strange would always happen. Each time I read one of his books I had to figure out when reality stopped and fantasy began. His illustrations added to the surprise.

Van Allsburg’s talent and creativity were striking and left a lasting impression on me.

The Psalmist

Completing this triad of inspiring authors is one of biblical notoriety–the peasant boy who became king, David.

This writer of Psalms wrote some incredibly practical biblical passages to help us live in this world. But more importantly for me, I think his inspiration to write on all aspects of life had a tremendous influence on me as a Christian and a writer. Because of David’s influence, I wanted to write stories that would inspire children and adults.

My role models–Dr. Seuss, Chris van Allsburg and the psalmist, David–all three very different, but all three helped shape me as the writer I am today.

Who is your favorite writer (s)? Why?

Share in the comments.


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