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I admit I never had much interest in writing, probably because I never found a good reason to write at all. My line of business requires me to write nothing more than projects or development plans or production notes, examine contracts and stuff like that, surely not products of creative writing art.
However, since I started to be more involved in social media and blogging I noticed I don't mind writing at all, and practicing over and over really can improve the way you write and express your thoughts in something more than a milestone/checklist way.
I really don't see myself improvising a fiction's writer career anytime soon (never say never in life, hey), but nevertheless, writing can be good for your stress as well ;)
My top favorite authors of all times are surely Tolkien and Lovecraft, very different genres and sadly contaminated by having read them in italian (I bought a kindle version of a Lovecraft collection lately so I am at least trying to remedy!), and since I had the misfortune to have a look at the iBook version of the Divina Commedia, I know far too well what you mean *shivers*.

@Rosemary - I read Ken Follett's book years after it came out. It was still very good ;) Love that you discovered your book through a customer's tweet.

@Danny - I should have known, The Hobbit. o many fiction writers are truly gifted in their use of the language.

@Christa - we heart serendipity. Reading rich stories and meeting fictional characters has been a tradition for me. I used to read 8+ books in one week of vacation. Lying on the beach like a lizard in the sun, and enjoying the company of a new adventure. I couldn't figure out what happened to make me stop. Then I remember I have not taken a vacation at the beach in 4 years!

@Ben - it's also a very romantic activity ;) Hesse was an amazing writer. Funny that my favorite poet would also be German - Rilke. With so many talented ones in my home country to choose from. It might be my analytical self that finds a kindred spirit in these artists.

Valeria, I hadn't thought of writing fiction, and in a collaborative way... I'm thinking I should! Thanks for the prompt. I find reading good fiction a source of inspiration for making sense of the world. Stories connect the dots. My eyes lit up to your reference of Narcissus and Goldmund. That is one of my all-time favorites too. The archetypes presented in that book had a serious impact on me when I first read it. Perhaps the time/context it was written in (1930 Germany) contributed to the author's insights. Whatever, the paradox it presents is timeless. Hesse was a genius.

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