On Writing: Part 6 – Final Reflections

This is the conclusion of a six part series on fanfic writing.  Here are parts 123, 4, and 5.

I’ve been ruminating for several weeks over advice from Hedgey, Gratiana, and Prue.  The commonality between all of them is to write for yourself, what you like, and write, write, write.  Servetus offered a thought provoking essay on what writing fanfic could really mean and the internal cause and effect flowing from it.  The question for me has become: do I want to write fanfic, or more succinctly, do I really want to write and why?

The short easy answer is yes, writing is what I used to do.  The long easy answer is I’ve always been good with words.  Even when math at times eluded me, words have always been my friend.  When I read voraciously as a child, they were my escape into other worlds.  Then, my right-brained literary creativity was unfettered by psychological baggage and dysfunctional environments.  I had not been molded to become left-brained in law school, which is akin to being forced into left handedness when I’ve always been right-handed. So I wrote imaginative stories without thinking twice, drew pictures to accompany them and then wrote more to go along with those.  I’m sure there are stories dammed inside bursting to get out if only I can reach them.  It’s highly likely that my writer’s block has been caused by vestiges of old baggage I need to shed and my right-sided brain being rusty from disuse.  Blogging and drawing is helping the creative sap to rise, albeit slowly.  Patience is probably a virtue here.

The difficult answer is probably I will be revealing something of myself, more so than I do in this blog and it disturbs me a bit especially after reading Servetus’s essay.  Then I have to ask: do I want to reveal things even to myself?  After chewing on that question a while, I’ve decided it really doesn’t matter since I intend to continue on my journey no matter where it takes me.  It may be that the line will blur between writing for enjoyment and writing for catharsis.  That being said, I’m not particularly concerned whether readers will try to draw too close parallels between my stories and me.  I assume mature readers understand fiction is fantasy just as shows we enjoy are all fantastic and make believe.  There is nothing much I can do about those who don’t get that point. I’m not writing for them.  To each her own.

Hopefully one day I’ll break through my writer’s block.  Scenes come to mind but sadly not plots which is an interesting conundrum in itself.  When a full realized story does emerge from the labyrinth of my mind, you will be the first ones to read it.  I will welcome all love but most importantly respectful, constructive criticism.  I won’t bite – unless it’s the Fan Police.

In the meantime, I have a surprise in store tomorrow.  You didn’t really think I would leave you empty handed did you?  Oh, the password will be: the first name of JT’s love in N&S.  See you then.


9 thoughts on “On Writing: Part 6 – Final Reflections

  1. Judi, I wouldn’t worry too much about revealing too much of yourself either to others or to yourself. Sure, in all my books I am able to use my experiences to tap into emotion, or to describe what it feels to ride a horse, sew, illuminate… gosh, even make love!  But I defy anyone to draw a parallel between me and my characters.

    I think Ysabel and Lalita are terribly fortunate to have a deep relationship with someone inspired by RA, but that’s not me, oh so not me! The me that very few know shall remain so and I think you could do that too! A writer is essentially a split personality… X the writer and X the private person. It’s easy to keep things secret… it was easy when we were young and it’s just as easy now.

    I say just write… bits and pieces for your journal, that beautifully bound clam-shell box under the bed…

    Eventually there will be something that you feel you can share without fear or expecting favour… that’s when you really know you are becoming a writer. Good luck and go for it, I say. Don’t turn it into something academic, heavy and fraught with double meaning. It is what it is… words that tell a story!

    • Thanks Prue for your encouraging words. Another problem I have is a sort of fear – can I write as well as I remembered? Do I have the talent? Could I ever be as good as X, Y, and Z? I realize the last part is self-defeating; I can only write as well as myself. Also hardly any author has beautiful prose right out of the gate. Still that self doubt rises up which can be annoying and paralyzing.

  2. I think by the time you become able to write, which you seem to be becoming more and more able to do, you will have surmounted the fear. I strongly feel that advice about writing is a ymmv subject: for me, i can’t write unless I am tapping into something deep inside myself and getting there is often a struggle. For me writing=self-discovery, and that’s a hard process, especially when there are things i want to avoid. That may not be the same for you. But for me, the fact that that’s what has to happen means that the fears that arise are associated with it — fears about honesty, revelation, acceptance. I titled the essay “what fanfic means to ME” intentionally because I realize that may not be it for everyone. In the end, it seems to me from my perspective today anyway, I can’t not do this because not doing it for so long was gradually dehydrating me.

    I also think the pieces and parts are fine — and it’s fine to share those with people. Yeah, it’s natural to want to put a complete multichapter story out there but no creative artist starts with the capacity to do that at the beginning.

    • For me, writing (any kind of creativity actually) is associated with bad periods, when would retreat into my world to write, draw, even mode doll’s dresses from tissue. So when I attempt now, the old associated feelings come with it. Of course, I have to recognize it for what it is and remind myself that things are different now. It’s strange, but I’m working through it.

      The process, although it can be uncomfortable, is helping me reclaim a piece of myself, the authentic self as have mentioned in your blog posts. That give me pleasure to no end.

    • Truth be told, I actually wrote a story around this piece. My first complete RA fan fic! When will you see it is anybody’s guess.  😀

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