Jennifer is yet another awesome writer I met through the message board of She Who Shall Not Be Named. When the deletion and banning of those people who disagreed with parts of the book got too bad, we migrated over to a much more awesome message board where we could discuss and snark and disagree with each other to our hearts content without worrying about being banned or silenced.
Ana asked me if I would be willing to write a guest blog this month and I jumped on the chance, as long as it got published today, October 29th. Because I turn 30 today. So this guest blog is a birthday present to myself! I’m going to talk about writing for the sheer love of it. Not to be published, not for fame, but just for the fun of it.
I’ve been thinking up stories for as long as I can remember. My earliest stories were cracktastic fanfics that involved the A-Team. I was 5. I had no idea what cracktastic was. I had no idea what fanfic was. All I knew was that my brain was thinking up the most awesome story lines and I could spend hours with my eyes closed watching as they played out on the back of my eye lids. A few years later, the A-Team story lines were replaced with China Beach story lines. And then I saw Lost Boys for the first time. And really folks, it was all downhill from there.
I started writing my stories down. I discovered rather quickly that I didn’t enjoy writing about preexisting characters. I loved thinking about them, but not so much writing them. It hampered my budding creativity. *said with a hoity-toity voice* So I started letting my mind wander through these fictional worlds that others had already created. And I started finding original characters that existed. And I started writing cracktastic fiction in earnest. And continue to unto this day. Although now I create my own worlds as well.
I should note that I love editing other people’s work. I’ve done editing for quite a few friends, and I like to think I’m passably decent at it. When I try to edit my own work, I usually start out ok. And then after a chapter or two I get sucked in. And a few hours later I’m finishing reading the pages with a giant grin on my face, having made my brain happy because it got to hang out with its old friend, cracktastic story, for a little while. My story never really gets past the zero draft stage, but I’ve discovered that really doesn’t matter to me, since I only write for myself.
Do I ever want to get any of this fiction published? Aw hell no! My stories are really rather awful when compared to what’s in print these days. Completely implausible storylines. Mary Sues/Gary Stus out the wazoo. Gratuitous sex and violence. But I love writing them. And that’s what matters to me. I don’t write to be famous. I don’t write to make money. I write because I have a story in my brain struggling to get out, and even if no one else ever reads it, putting it on paper lets it roam free in the world. And there is something ever so gratifying about writing a cracktastic story, walking away from it for a few months, and then going back and reliving every thought that went into it. Even the really embarrassing ones.
I know I’m not the only one who writes purely for the pleasure of making my brain happy. And I think it’s important to recognize and remember that it’s ok to write solely for yourself and no one else. So if you enjoy writing for the fun of it and you don’t want to make it big, go right on a head and keep at it. Do it because you love doing it. And don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong!
Now, please join me in wishing Jennifer a very warm and wonderful HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!