Around this time last year I was working on a story called Between You and I. It was the tale of a girl with a drug addiction and her best friend who'd been in love with her all his life. Well I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote it, but it was a mess...just page after page of writing, no chapters, no definition..just garbage.
So I decided to stop the story. I couldn't fix it - well I could have but at the time I didn't think I could. So I stopped writing it, put it in my folder with all the other failed attempts and forgot about it. I decided that I would no longer writer, that I would just stop being who I was. I am a writer, plain and simple. It's what I do when I'm bored or stressed, upset or happy. Writing is my therapy and I just gave it up.
Then I found out about this stuff called fan fiction. You write stories based off of other writer's characters. I have an unnatural obsession with the Twilight Saga so I figured I would give fan fiction a shot. If no one read the story I wrote then I would quit writing for real. I would put down the pen and find a new hobby, one that I was better at.
My first fan fiction story was a story titled OneohEightpointNine and it was based off of the characters Jacob Black and Bella Swan from the Twilight books. It was, if I'm being honest, lame. But people read it. Not a lot, but enough to give me the kick in the ego I so desperately needed.
I finished the story, wondering, "What now?" Should I write another one, maybe something more original, more me, (basically meaning, writing my own story, just using the characters names.) I debated over it, considered it, but thought about all my previous failed attempts. My first story was more like a short story. It only had 30,000 words, but it was the first thing I'd ever started and finished that had more than one chapter.
Well, I was listening to the radio a few afternoons later and they played Your Song by Elton John. Lucky for me I have paper stashed around the house. I sat down and quickly started writing, thinking, "oh here we go again, another story I'll never finish."
Boy was I wrong. 108.9 was like the gateway drug. Ideas started coming to me from all over. I would jot them down, but I kept going with the story I was writing. I titled it Pictures of You. It's the story of a model who goes to sit for a painter with a past he's not proud of. There's cheating and infidelity and that sounds bad but its really not. Well, not really. The story was nominated for two awards, something called a Sparkle Award and something called a Moonlight award. It won third place in the Sparkle Awards and heaven only knows what with the Moonlight awards because the site never posted the winners. (mental note to self, stalk the site runner...lol..jk).
I finished Pictures of You then started and completed two more stories. Now currently on my fourth story I wonder why I ever wanted to give this up. I've written three novels (I call them that because on my computer they have original character names, and places that have nothing to do with the twilight novels.) and am eight chapters away from finishing the fourth.
Then this morning I get an email from one of my readers who says she's nominated my fourth story and me for an award. To me, that makes writing worth it. To know that I have touched these lives with my words...it's...insane...I mean, most days I look at it and I can't believe it. Two nods for one story, another nod for Full Circle, now a nod for Unattached and a nod for best author of the year...I mean I know it's just fan fiction and no one outside of that community really cares about it...but its a huge community and its an honor to be nominated regardless...
and to think I almost gave it all up..I almost stopped doing what I love because I didn't feel like I was accomplishing anything.
Even if I was never nominated I wouldn't stop now. I have met some really great people, made some really great friends and have this sense of accomplishment that I have written this and people have liked it, some have loved it. I have made people cry with my words, they have cried along with me when a character becomes ill and dies, or when a character reveals a traumatic past. These people have touched my life in ways they probably won't ever understand because in a way they saved me.