So, I have nothing in particular to say about writing this month (aside from the general fact that writing my bad fiction has kept me from writing any blog posts…or doing just about anything else) and therefore I shall fall back upon the question provided on the IWSG Sign-Up page. This month’s question is
Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?
It’s a kind of odd question for me. I’ve been writing in one way or another since grade school (and considering I’ll be turning 42 later this year, that’s quite a long time!) so it’s an ingrained habit. No, more like it’s part of the way my brain’s become hard-wired. When I was a little kid and had trouble sleeping, my mother told me that I should replay my favorite movies in my head to lull myself to sleep. Nice idea, but I didn’t know any movies well enough for that. (Well, no, I probably knew Star Wars well enough, but that was hardly going to lull me to sleep!) Instead, I made up stories to entertain myself until I got too tired to remain conscious.
It didn’t take long before I was doing that every time I got bored. I must have been really little when I got that advice, because the entire process was a firm part of the way my mind functioned by the time my personality started solidifying. And since none of the other kids ever wanted to play with me, I spent a lot of time telling myself stories. (I have, at this point, gotten to the point where I literally have to be doing it while I’m doing almost everything else, unless it’s something I have to concentrate on really hard. I can’t even watch a (brand new!) movie without imagining two or three of my favorite characters are watching it, so I’m both watching the movie and imagining how they’re reacting to it. The only exception to that is a dialog-heavy foreign language picture, because I’m already multitasking pretty heavily in watching, listening and reading subtitles. But even then I still tend to have characters pop in during the dialog lulls.)
Anyway, writing to me is nothing more than setting down on paper (or, far more often, on computer screen) the stories I tell myself in my head, which is often the only way to get a “rerun” to go away and be replaced by something new, as it’s never as much fun to tell to myself after it’s solidified. So I could never quit writing without ceasing to function.
But I’ve gone back and forth on the idea of ever trying to publish anything.
There was a time when I was convinced I was going to be a great, best-selling novelist. Then I thought I was going to be a major screenwriter. Then I realized I sucked and went into exclusively writing fanfic, which I wasn’t even sharing with anyone, for the most part. Then something changed, and I stopped writing fanfic, and tried to turn myself into a (self-)published author. And then I remembered that I sucked, and decided that I’d never try to publish anything, but I was still going to keep writing original fiction, because that was somehow “better.” And then I got obsessed with Velvet Goldmine and started writing fanfiction again. I’ve got a new really good original fiction idea on the back burner, waiting for me to flesh out its world and write it, but we’ll see if I return to trying to self-pub, too. Not like the quality of my writing’s improved any, after all.
…hmm. That didn’t really answer the question, did it?
Well, it’s just a guideline, so that’s okay, right?