Just something I got curious about while eating breakfast. When I first began to read (as in, read a lot), I read everything I could get my hands on. I decimated the Science Fiction/Fantasy section of the local library. The librarians knew me. Then I started to write. As I learned more and more about writing, I started to notice things that people would do wrong, things that I did and avoided doing, or things I did and didn't know how to fix. I got a lot pickier. Then I found fanfic. I not only met other people with the same interest, I found other people who would help me and encourage me, and I saw people as amateurish as myself, some better, some worse. I got a beta. (What a learning experience that was!) I made friends, I got friends who understood how frustrating plot bunnies can be - all through writing (and a love of Star Wars ). But as I wrote, and kept writing, I started to think of how to improve - and I figured the best way I could improve was to see things as they really were, and put it in words. I really began to watch my surroundings, and observe. Look at the way leaves tremble in the wind, each unique leaf fluttering differently. Or the wistful, loving expression on a father's face as his little girl puts her head down on his thigh to take a nap (saw this in church). In becoming a writer, I think I learned to really see some of the beautiful, and sometimes horrible, things this world has. What about you? And my apologies if this is offtopic for this board.