I’ve been writing for so long, I’ve totally forgot the exact movement I decided to write for a living. In fact, I’m not so sure I even made the conscious decision to write. It was just something I had to do. Sure, I enjoyed it when I was little. I still remember the first story I ever wrote, called “A Micro Machine Christmas.” I’m showing my age, but I’m sure Wikipedia as a page on micro machines. I loved those things, and my teacher told us to come up with a Christmas story. I had a really, really old desk. Mom put it in my room and that’s where I played cars and stuff. I had a bunch of micro machines sitting there, and no idea what to write about. So, I decided to write something about them. Basically, they had to go and chop down a tree and bring it back to what I’m sure I called “Micro Machine City.” And then they decorated it. Not exactly a subtle commentary on on the growing divide between the destitute and the super rich like Godspeed but it ignited the spark. My teacher loved it.
I was into science back then. Still am. But it was weird how opposed to reading fiction I was back then. I thought non-fiction was way more grown up, so that’s what I stuck with. But I still wrote fiction. I remember hating to use dialogue tags. So, I wrote everything in what I would later understand as passive voice. One of the deadly sins in writing fiction. And I had a bunch of stories. Hundreds of pages, all hand written, by the fifth grade. Mainly influenced by the game Star Fox for the SNES. Unfortunately, Hurricane Fran had other ideas about me keeping my stories forever, and destroyed the shed that contained them. Now ruined by water damage, I had no choice but to throw them away.
I really wish I could’ve kept them, but I digress. Creative writing was always just easy for me. And fun. But I stopped during those “teenaged” years, only rekindling my interest in writing though fanfiction of the anime Ranma1/2 in the year 2000. Pretty embarrassing, I know, But it worked. And it made me feel better. When I began to feel down, I would just write, and suddenly feel better. So, naturally, writing was the career that was the right choice.
But I began to feel more and more down. Which caused me to write more and more. I have an appointment later this month to see if I really had depression all these years, but I’m not so sure, if I was able to self-medicate with writing like this.
But that’s what writing was for me. It kept the feeling of the world closing in around me away and gave me a place where I could vent my emotions. And it kept away the feelings of being emotionally overwhelmed. I’m a very, very introverted person, almost to the point of fault. But writing took all of that away. So, writing for me wasn’t ever really a choice. It’s something I have to do, if not for my family’s financial success, then for my own mental health. And since you can make a decent living doing it, why not?
Of course, it’s not all fun and games. Editing is a pain in the rear, and the ability to market my book is almost non-existent, thanks to my introversion. Fortunately, you don’t need that to be successful in the self publishing market. After reading dozens and dozens of posts and blogs by successful people, the only real thing a person needs is a grasp of the concept of writing and to consistently publish something. That’s it, really. Basically, publish something good enough and do it regularly. Eventually, you’ll find success. May take a year. Maybe ten, if you’re writing one of those niche genres. But YA spans all genres, and while Godspeed has dystopian elements, I’m going to market it as science fiction along with dystopian, since there isn’t a military sub genre in Amazon as of yet.
So, that’s what writing means to me. More than just a paycheck, it’s a way for me to, I guess sort out everything in my head and keep out all those worrisome feelings. That, and finding books that appeal to me is becoming slightly more difficult. So, thanks to whoever said “if you can’t find a book you like out there, write it for yourself” as I’ve done exactly that.
So, I guess that’s it. And as always, don’t forget to be awesome
(yes, I know I stole that quote. But I love it, and it should be said more, so :-P)