“Reading” vs. “Writing”

I admire writers. I consider myself just a reader. Obviously, writers need readers and vise versa. Quite a few of my friends are true writers. Although I admire the works they create, I sometimes feel a bit sorry for them. Why? I read comments other writers have made in review of another’s book/story/poem etc. They generally include phrases like “excellent character development”, “well plotted story”, “thought provoking symbolism”, and the such. My friends say it’s difficult to let go of the writer in them when reading something. They tell me even though they try, thinking “I would have made that character (insert race, sex, creed, religion)”, or “it would have been better in this (insert time period, setting, location)”. I can relate. I’m an IT Administrator, and every time I have to log on to a clients computer I think, “wow, they have quite a few unnecessary desktop icons” or “strange wallpaper choice”. I can’t help it, it’s what I do. I don’t think a writer can help it either, and that’s why sometimes I do feel a bit sorry for them. I know that in many ways they DO enjoy a book more than I could myself. However, sometimes I feel I can enjoy one in other ways more than a writer. For me, it’s comparable to looking at a beautiful tree. I don’t want to think about how my eyes are absorbing and refracting the light to cone and rod sensors, sending signals through an optic nerve, and then being translated by my brain. I just want to enjoy the tree.

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