Family influences

Something I came across recently had the opinion that people get a lot of their passions in life from family influences. For instance, if you attend sports games as a child with a parent, you will associate fond memories and excitement with that sport. The love for that game is passed down to the next generation, and then when that person has children, they will repeat the process: take the kids to the ballgame, because they have great memories, and they want to share those experiences with their own offspring.

As with most subjects, I immediately twisted the concept and wondered just how much our family impacts our writing. I know that I got a lot of my love for reading from my parents and other extended family members. I have those kinds of great memories of my grandparents taking me to the library and being allowed to choose any book I wanted to borrow. Of reading the same story every night with my mother. Of my father taking me to buy books from the second hand bookstore every time I ran out of new things to read in his house. Those are important parts of my childhood, and if I had children, I would want to do those things with them as well.

Some people didn’t have the same exposure to books and reading through their family as I did. There are plenty of folks out there who came across their love of literature from a friend, a teacher, or just happenstance as they went through their lives.

And then I wonder if the genre we write is an extension of these influences. I can definitely say that I was exposed pretty early to horror (dad-approved reading of Stephen King before I was a teen), and I was raised on fantasy in ways I can’t even begin to describe. Was I set up to become exactly what I am, or did my taste and talent coincide from such an early age? There’s no definite answer to that, but it sure makes me curious about the experiences of other writers and how much correlation they can see between their upbringing and their stories.

A final note: I’m sorry this is a couple of days late! I’ve been busy with jewellery stuff over at The Dragon’s Hoard.

~A

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4 thoughts on “Family influences

  1. Another interesting topic! I do agree to a degree. I think our family can influence our writing and even our genre.

    I do see influences from my family in my writing when I really look, but it isn’t a direct correlation like someone introducing me to something that’s an influence for me now.

  2. As I like to say to people when describing my culture-clash with class bullies as a youngin’: I was raised on the Marx Brothers and Monty Python and Mystery Science Theater and Nickelodeon. They were raised on the Simpsons and Beavis & Butthead and Saturday-morning toy commercials and also Nickelodeon. Our senses of humor did not much coincide. My parents cultivated subversion & wit; theirs cultivated buffoonery & volume (not that I don’t also enjoy some buffoonery & volume, but most of those other bully-types didn’t have any respect for wit).

    So yeah, I can definitely attest to parents influencing children towards the things that later influence their own creative & life choices.

    1. That’s a really excellent example of different upbringings making for different styles. I can definitely agree that my other alternative experiences put me in a very different place than other people I know.

      ~A

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