I’ve been told that I have an active imagination since I was a kid. I remember when my parents brought home our first computer, how I was fascinated by this machine with its orange text on black background, that I could use for typing my stories and schoolwork. It was amazing. Do you remember those old computers with the massive floppy discs and the equally-beastly dot-matrix printers? Beige plastic, command prompts, a single typeface, no spell-check.
We have it so well, with our fancy fonts and our computer programs that can swap out our most common misspellings for the right words. What a time to be alive.
I don’t write fiction as much as I did as a kid. The imagination hasn’t run dry or anything, I guess I’ve just grown more shy – creative writing was where I really managed to shine when I was younger and I had a lot of support from my teachers. I even had a lot of support from one of my high school teachers, someone that many other students claimed to have a hard time with. I started to become afraid that if I wrote a lot of original stuff and put it out there, somebody would copy it and put their name on my work.
Instead, I’ve written a lot of fiction based upon characters I play in video games – fiction based in worlds with “copyright – somebody else, now and forever times infinity” on them. Characters that, though they’re mine in theory, aren’t TRULY mine.
All of this is changing.
In 2016, I’m taking the plunge. I’m taking my writing seriously again. It’s something I should have done a long, long time ago, but fear has this way of just sitting on you and making you stay where you are. Being told a variety of different reasons why I can’t write for a living certainly didn’t help.
I write because it’s something I was meant to do. Writing is the one place where I’m completely free, unrestrained by things like “money” and “common sense” and “because somebody said I couldn’t do it”. There’s a great big world in my head with all sorts of ideas and stories that are just dying to get out, and it’s about time I released them from the confines of my brain and let them run a little wild.
Everybody goes into this for different reasons. In the end, they’re all doing the same thing: they’re pursuing their calling.
I’m finally doing what I was meant to do.