I was at the library recently and on a sudden whim, went on a rampage through the YA section, dragging random fantasy/sci fi books off their shelves and stuffing them under my arm. Then I went home and spent hours binge reading that particular niche of fiction that first inspired me to write.
I went through a phase of reading nothing but fantasy and science fiction and I was just coming into the age demographic for YA when I first wanted to be a writer. I went through dozens of books a month, learning how to pace my requests to go back (my parents grew weary of taking me every day very quickly) and taking advantage of large bags to haul my supplies home.
It was in YA that I discovered how to put characters to paper, to attempt a plot, to experiment with setting. It was in YA that made me realize that maybe I could try to write my own stories.
Learning to drive gave me nearly unlimited access to the library, but as I aged, I gradually drifted into other genres and the older demographic. I learned to love mysteries and slice-of-life novels and discovered the joys of nonfiction. And I read a good deal of generic fantasy/sci fi, much of it formulaic. It was the dull pickings I found in the "grown up" fantasy/sci fi that drove me to other genres and their wonders.
So, feeling nostalgic, I went back to read some YA fantasy. And I'm liking it. It's kind of the "thing" right now, if the shelves of my library are anything to go by, and so I found quite a large selection. It makes me happy, rediscovering what first drove me to want to write and finding it just as wonderful as I remember it.
Here's hoping that remembering what got me into writing in the first place will help me with my writing now.