I don’t know when I decided I want to be a writer, when I thought somebody might actually care to read what I wrote. Other than teachers and professors who got paid to read the drivel produced by hundreds of teenagers and twentysomethings every semester, of course. Gosh, I could never be a teacher and have the patience to wade through that. Kudos to all who do, I learned a lot from you.
I learned a lot, but I never considered the writing was a dream I might try and achieve one day.
Not until I found fanfiction. And yes, I know fanfiction can be a wild place filled with and/or related to judgments and criticisms. I honestly don’t care whether or not Joe Bob and Mary Sue think fanfiction is a legitimate sort of writing. I say it is. I say no one who pretends to know who to write, how to be a writer would ever tell you that practice is half the battle. And what better practice is there than fanfiction? None.
From writing and posting fanfiction (for Pirates of the Caribbean, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and a bit of The Mortal Instruments if that matters at all, and maybe it says something about who I am), I learned how to tell a story. I learned what sort of storytelling works best for me. I learned that people just might actually care about a story I create, or borrow if we’re being particular in terms of fanfiction. And I learned I actually like to write, that I might want to be a writer more than I’ve wanted to be anything.
These lessons were more than a little bit stunning, in turn.
And I’m running with them now, because there is no good reason why I shouldn’t.
So, since this blog is partly about writing, I want to talk about who I am as a writer. A writer who hasn’t been published (yet) but is a writer nonetheless.
A Method To My Madness
- Seven times out of ten, if I make an outline for a story, I will not write the story. That numbers goes higher the more complicated and specific the outline is. It’s like I get bored of my own story and can’t be bothered to care anymore. Very frustrating. But I am, I have accepted, a Pantser.
- Sometimes I write first drafts in a Google Doc (far too broke to afford Word right now), sometimes I write in spiral notebooks, sometimes I write on looseleaf paper, and sometimes I scribble story ideas one whatever is handiest.
- I am never working on only one story at a time. This is a holdover habit from fanfiction, so it is apparently just how I work. Sometimes it would be nice to do one story at a time, I think, but I also think I might get bored.
- Most of the ideas I get for stories are things I want to read but haven’t found in a book yet. It’s a whole lot harder to write the thing to read what someone else has written, of course, but I am trying.
- I have had story ideas, some that have reached bookish lengths, that are born of fanfiction stories I wrote. I find no shame in this.
- Most of the things I start writing will never get finished. I accept this fact. But I figure that if I want to get something else finished, or even started, I have to get that never-to-be-finished thing out of my head.
- I do change fonts when I’m stuck writing, because it seems somehow logical that changing fonts will kick my brain into gear. And I also change character names sometimes, because that seems somehow like it could change the story in a way that breathes new life into it.
- I tried NaNoWriMo once… or was it twice… and failed miserably. I did Camp NaNoWriMo once and changed my goal to 35,000 words, which I succeeded at. I don’t remember what it was that I wrote. NaNoWriMo isn’t for me. I’ll just write.
- My endgame is simple: to be a published author.
- I’m learning as I go, because how else does one learn, but I’ll get there.
- I’ll be a published author.