Like many people, I first dove into reading as a way to escape. Later, though, I found that I confronted myself in everything I read—my fears, inclinations, and sympathies were reflected and challenged in the books I chose. What I want from reading, whether fiction or nonfiction, is to have my mind changed and my perspective expanded. And so I love a distinctive point of view, something solid to engage with, an outlook that feels honed, developed, and self-aware. A writer’s beliefs will always filter into their work, even shape their work, so I would encourage any writer to know what those beliefs are (and to be able to support them!) as part of their creative process. Certainly, Why am I writing this in particular? But also, What do I think is true?
You will always show up in your writing. My suggestion is that you ask yourself, again and again, what you’re communicating—what you believe—and why.
—Sally Howe, associate editor, Scribner