Writing’s in my blood
[If you know me personally and have heard me talk about all this before, feel free to skip lol]
As far back as I can remember, I loved writing, even if I wasn’t ready to call it that, yet. I used to make up stories in my head or with the few action figures and dolls my brothers and I had between us. I can’t remember when I first started trying to put this stuff down on paper, but I do recall my 4th grade teacher putting a heavy emphasis on writing.
Throughout the year we made several books. The two I can remember clearly were a biography on my paternal grandmother. The other was a fable. We had to illustrate it. Mine was about a fish, though I can’t remember what the story was, I remember what he looked like. He was orange with a blue fine. I can even remember how I drew him, with a less than sign for the mouth, and his body a squiggly line, like an S. Yet, I can’t remember what the story itself was about. I wish I had access to either of these books now, but they weren’t preserved. i’m not even sure they lasted the year. Life tends to suck that way. Or mind does, at least.
From then on, I would jot down little things in my free time. Little simple silly stories in my free time that weren’t a part of a greater whole. They were just for fun because that’s what this is to me. Fun. I did that throughout Junior High and the beginning of high school, but when stuff got rocky, and other complications that I won’t get into, it fell by the wayside.
Fast forward to about 12 years later, on the other side of “college”. I started a job a few months after I graduated and less than a month after that, I got sick. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease which had me knocked out of commission. Thankfully, it was only for a few months, but during that time, about the only thing I could do consistently was play games. I didn’t have the energy to do much. I couldn’t even go to work every day, but video games were to keep myself from going crazy from laying prone and contemplating what I could eat that wouldn’t hurt most of the time.
Seven months of hell later, I had emergency surgery that put an end to all that for the most part and it was on the other side of this, where I survived an 102 degree fever and the litany of other bad things that I realized I’d been wasting my life. I’d been puttering around following a map given to me by people more lost than I was that led me no where. I wanted to write, I wanted to do things that made me happy. I started writing fanfiction, filling in the blanks of the stories I had come to love that were good but left me wanting just a little more. I read the works of others but no one seemed to see what I saw was missing. So I wrote it myself.
I wrote madly, feverishly, and all the time. I would carry a pen and notebook around and break it out wherever I was. At dinner, getting drinks, at a friend’s place. I apologize now, if I didn’t then, for being rude, but I was so consumed. It burned me from the inside out. It build and roiled inside me until I started on the road that led me to where I am today. It burns me still. But it’s different now.
In the fan fiction community, there was, if your obsession was popular, a decent sized group of people at any given time who would be willing to read and review, to support you and give you feed back. Strangers who would do this because they shared your passion or just liked your work. Now that I’m writing my own stories, with my own characters, I’m left feeling pretty alone. Not totally. I have a few friends who I can count on for feedback, who will let me know what works and what doesn’t, but that sense of community is pretty much gone. The numbers have dwindled down to half. But I’m still writing.
I guess I wrote this more for myself than anyone else. I’m feeling pretty destitute and I just needed to remind myself why I started down this path in the first place. Why I’m doing this even though the circumstances aren’t ideal. And that’s because I’d die without it.
And I guess there isn’t more to it than that.