Ever since I was five years old and I cold get my chubby little hands around a pencil, I’ve been writing stories. My very first one was called Edward and Pomswig, about a boy and his magical flying shi-Tzu. It was ten pages long and I was incredibly proud of myself.
The next story I wrote was called I am Fire, about this girl who wished for her birthday to become, you guessed it, fire. She could toast bread just by touching it with her bare hands. It was pretty awesome.
After that I dabbled in novel-writing. I wrote a book about fairy people, with a rich, complex world…that made absolutely no goddamn sense. I also wrote a series of short novels that were literally complete and utter plagiarism of Harry Potter.
In sixth grade, I wrote this story that was basically a combination of Maximum Ride and Twilight. I worked on it all through seventh grade and somehow came up with a two-hundred-fifty-page hot mess. I started writing a sequel to that and got about fifty pages in before I realized my protagonist was a dumbfuck and my plot had become practically nonexistent.
There were other novels and short stories over the years, of course. I’ve dabbled in YA and it might’ve actually been even worse than Twilight. For last year’s NaNoWriMo, I wrote a horror novel. It was my very first attempt at diversity besides a couple token black characters (I had just begun to discover social justice). Since everyone died disgusting, brutal deaths except for one white dude, it was a definitely a social justice failure.
Now I’m working on my current novel, which I honestly consider to be my twisted masterpiece. There’s a diverse cast of characters, an awesome female protag, and a plot that actually makes sense and flows logically.
My stories are my babies. I love them all equally, even the ugly ones. I’ve got a sort of quasi-god complex; I have this pretty intense need for control over other people, and writing helps to soothe that a little.
Writing is there for me when no one else is. My characters are there for me to take my daddy issues out on. My characters are there for me to play out my fantasies. My characters are there to entertain me.
I try not to write just for the sake of wish fulfillment. It’s the reason so many of my potentially good stories ended up failing. I try to make my characters realistic with realistic hardships and it doesn’t always work out so great, but that’s okay. I have to believe that everything will work out in the end. There’s nothing wrong with scrapping a scene (or two, or three).
I find that writing is a way of working through all my issues in a way that’s a lot healthier than flipping out on my friends or keeping it all inside. If there’s something wrong I can try to work it out within the confines of this little world I’ve created. Most of the time, my problems manifest as something pretty far from what they were in real life. For me, I have a lot of anxiety related to this strong sense of powerlessness. So I write these journeys for my characters where they regain their control. It’s really cathartic.
When I’m feeling really upset about something, if there’s no one to talk to, I can dive into my writing. It really helps to be able to forget about the world for a little while.