Dedication: I am dedicating this blog post to my best friend and sister, Kellie. Kit Kat, you are the Tyler Joseph to my Josh Dun, you are the Cody Rhodes to my Ted DiBiase Jr, and most importantly- you are my favorite writing partner in the entire world. Thank you for all the love and support you have given me over the years. I love you!
I love writing. I know this is an obvious statement, especially with how often I’ve mentioned wanting to make a career of it! But admittedly, there are some days when writing doesn’t hold the same joy for me as it once did. Here’s why:
Let’s take a trip down memory lane to when I was in second grade and writing short stories. I was writing short stories along the lines of If You Gave a Mouse a Cookie (which was one of my favorite books as a kid). I would write them and I remember my mom typing them up on a computer and saving them on a floppy disk. I would also hand them in to my teacher for some extra credit and also because she really seemed to enjoy them. I wrote these short stories because they made me happy.
Now let’s jump ahead to about five years later when twelve-year-old Michelle was writing really bad “songs” and poetry. I never let anyone read them after a friend of mine made fun of me for one of them, and then I felt self-conscious about sharing my writing with others. I still have some of those “songs” and poetry now typed up and saved on a flash drive… and let me tell you, they are bad! But twelve-year-old me wasn’t writing to impress anyone, I was writing because it made me happy.
Now let’s speed ahead a bit to sixteen-year-old Michelle who started writing wrestling fanfiction after reading some online. The fanfiction I wrote was a mixture of John Cena or Randy Orton falling in love with an original character I created… or doing some sexual things to each other. Eventually, I took the risk of posting my fanfiction on the website fanfiction.net, and my reviews were mostly positive. Admittedly, I didn’t put as much time and effort into proper punctuation with the fics- I was just having fun writing them. Even when I had people who read everything I posted, I was still writing simply because it made me happy.
Fast forward another year when seventeen-year-old Michelle met her now best friend Kellie in Journalism class, and began writing fanfiction together. I can’t tell you how many fanfics we started together (with admittedly, very few ever being written to completion). We had our fanfic notebooks and pass it back and forth to each other during the school day. It got passed back and forth the most during Journalism class, the only class we actually together. These fanfics were never posted anywhere, they were just for us, and it made writing them that much more fun. We wrote without limits, without critique, we wrote these fanfics because they made us happy and made our friendship stronger. Writing fanfiction with Kellie are some of the fondest memories I have of our almost fourteen year friendship.
Recently, within the last two weeks or so, we started writing another fanfic together. I thought up the idea and she loved it… and this was exactly what I needed to remind me of why I loved writing so much.
To be fully transparent, writing articles on topics I know nothing about or don’t really have an interest in kills me creatively. I have to try to sneak in creativity where I can in these articles, but then most times it gets edited out because it doesn’t fit what articles in that topic have. Sorry, but not actually sorry, if 50 articles say the exact same thing in the exact same boring way, there doesn’t need to be an article 51. I want MY voice to be heard when I write, not the voice of 50 other writers. Article writing, though it’s getting me paid and helping me add writing experience to my resume, has started to dim my love for writing.
The same thing happens with this blog sometimes. This blog is a mixture of writing about what I want to write about, but also trying to build up an audience. The bigger the audience I have, the more likely I am to get noticed by an employer, or have someone want to publish my novel when the time comes. So I’m not purely writing blog posts out of enjoyment- I’m writing them for a selfish reason. I’m writing them to get noticed and have my voice be heard. Though I love this blog and am grateful to anyone who takes the time to read it, some days I just want to write because it makes me happy, and that isn’t always how I feel when writing blog posts.
It’s the same way with my novel too- I’m writing it in hopes of getting published. I’m writing it to get the stories inside of me out into the world and onto people’s bookshelves. I’m writing it in hopes that it will make my dreams come true and that I’ll finally be able to make a decent living as a writer. My reasons for writing my novel are selfish and purely self serving… but that seems to be what writing is, doesn’t it? Would any of us take the time to write our blog posts or our novels if we weren’t hoping it’d lead to having them read, liked, shared, or displayed on a bookstore shelf?
But the writing I’m doing with Kellie is just for the simple pleasure of writing. It’s the only form of writing that at this time is making me truly happy because it’s for an unselfish reason. It’s not for a paycheck or to grow my audience or to get noticed by a publisher- it’s just for the simple joy of writing. Honestly, every time Kellie texts me back and says she wrote back, I try to drop whatever I’m doing so I can read what she wrote and write back.
We both have a lot going on and agreed that writing this fanfic together is just what we needed. Writing fanfiction together has always been something good for us, it has always made us happy to write together, and at a time when we’re both struggling with different parts of our lives, we need that happiness to help us deal with all the bad things going on around us. And in my opinion, that should be the real reason why someone wants to be a writer- because it makes them happy.
I still love writing. I still want to dedicate the rest of my life to being a writer and hopefully one day be able to make a decent living at it. But some days, I just miss writing because it makes me happy and not for any other reason.
And maybe this seems naive to some people, like this is something a sixteen-year-old would think and feel, but not a woman of almost thirty-one. But in my mind, I owe it the younger me who wrote simply because it made her happy to keep writing because it still makes me happy. Because without younger me writing those short stories, bad poems/songs, and fanfics, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I owe it to younger me to still find that joy in writing wherever I can.
If anyone is curious about the fanfiction I used to write, I will be linking it here. Please judge younger me nicely, she’s a bit more fragile than older me.
Is any of your old/bad writing still floating around online? What age were you when you started writing? I would love to know! I hope everyone has a great week!
I have enjoyed reading your blog for the past few months. I just want to encourage you not to give up on your writing career. You have many years left to write the fun stuff, don’t forget that. Congratulations on earning a paycheck from writing. (I envy you for that.) I am sure it is not easy, and I know there can be a lot of criticism and rejection. It is always easier to criticize from behind a computer. My best suggestion, not that you asked for it, is just make sure every day after you finish earning your paycheck you build in time to write the fun stuff. It doesn’t change the boring articles, but it does make them easier to produce. Self-compassion is the name of the game. Don’t beat yourself up. You are doing fine. Have you read Steven King’s book On Writing? Check it out if you haven’t. If you like audiobooks, I highly recommend his. He reads the book and does a fantastic job.
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Thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my blog. It’s very motivating to know that people enjoy what I’m writing 🙂
Thank you for your thoughtful suggestion. Recently, I have started trying to make time for fun writing. Somedays I am able to, other days I’m not. But I definitely know it’s something I need to make a point of doing.
Yes, I have read Stephen King’s book On Writing. It is one of my favorite books on writing! Even though I’ve already read it, I appreciate your suggestion to read it (it’s one of my suggested readings for other writers as well).
Again, thank you so much for commenting and reading my blog. I hope to hear from you again on future blog posts 🙂
I love this! Writing should be a joy.
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Thanks, Jennie 😊
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