Ahhhhhh, the first story I ever wrote…
Lots of writers certainly would not remember the very first story they ever wrote and no, I don’t mean, the-first-story-I-ever-wrote-that-got-published, no not that. I mean, the kind that you wrote as a child when you first discovered that weird passion of scribbling down a story on some scraps of paper. That’s what I mean.
It was a weird moment in time where something compelled you to write maybe in crude form a story in a stream of consciousness about whatever inspiration, ideas or even wishes you had on paper.
Yes, paper, my friends, I am glad you noted. It was a time before laptops or desktop computers were as cheap and as accessible as they are nowadays and yes, I actually took, uhm, more like borrowed and never returned lined-paper from my classroom in the public school of Switzerland (an indirect middle finger to the schools that never understood me, haha) and hand-wrote with a pencil a story that expanded to at least 200 pages and double-sided at that.
[I am just putting that info out there in case you were wondering, I am currently based in the U.S but I am originally from Switzerland and moved around between the French part and German part of Switzerland but my mother tongue is English. You may peruse my blog for more information on my experience in the Swiss school system.]
It all began one fine afternoon…
I think I was 12 or 13 when I decided to sit down one sunny day at my window with the view over a sloping grassy field. That particular terrain had been numerously invaded by the nearby illegal tenants or nomads, the grazing sheep.
My sister and I had placed a seat in front of the window that did obstruct the view or the only source of natural light of our room. It kept me in the line of sight of any either unwarranted or welcomed visitors such as my siblings or my parents. Also, I didn’t want anyone sneak up from behind me and read what I wrote because it felt like a secret activity that I wanted to keep to myself as it was something new and exhilarating to explore… I realized this could be taken WAY out of context and that’s not my intention, but if you come from a nosy (and noisy) and slightly controlling family and you have a perfectionist tendencies, you might understand what I mean.
When I discovered this brilliant space in my mind I finally found a release that kept me sane, an escape from the stresses of school and the boisterous tensions of my large family. It was a quiet place, a home away from home and I realized despite the world being shit towards me and adult voices telling me I was no good, they couldn’t touch my mind, they couldn’t deter or alter my imagination. They had no control over what I conjured in my mind – my form of silent rebellion.
The Wishing Stone
“Der Wunschstein” was my first ever written story that I never published and felt too embarrassed to share to the world. Aaaaand I don’t remember much about it, because…
I destroyed the evidence because someone told me I shouldn’t be writing about this.
Yes, I know, it is counter-intuitive and goes against what I spent passionately writing about just a few paragraphs ago about silent rebellion but I would say THIS was a crucial moment in my life where I decided to share less to the world, where writing became an activity that I deemed was not necessary for the world to know about.
It’s pitiful, it is sad that I let that take over my life, just because ONE FUCKING ADULT, a close one I may add, told me I should not be writing about what I felt compelled to write about.
*Sigh* No it wasn’t 50 Shades of Gray, alright, ACTUALLY, you know what, even if I did write… something like that I SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN SHAMED FOR IT!
I wrote a love story, a love story which went as graphic as kissing and holding hands and being together forever with that person! No sex, no nothing, because I wasn’t interested in that! Something any angsty, anxious, shy pre-teen/teen would enjoy reading or writing. Just to put into context, I am a romantic, always was and I love writing about relationships, the dynamics, the chemistry, the sexual tension, the hardships and the ultimate consumption of that relationship. It fascinated me (and to this day I LOVE writing about it)! Naturally, I gravitated to stories with plots like that. I was all over Shoujo mangas, beautifully drawn Japanese comic books that are sappy but romantic and catered to girls and young women with those romantic ideals.
It inspired me!
So, of course! Like an artist would do. I emulated it, not copy-paste it but I wrote a variation of it. I wrote a story that reflected maybe my deep down desires to be in love, to have someone want me and need me and yeah… not to feel alone.
My story was about a young teen girl witnessing a piece of a comet, a meteoroid, barreling down to earth. She finds it, plucks it and realizes it fulfilled wishes much like a genie in a bottle. The basic plot was she abuses the crap out of it, in a manner like the Pixar animated movie “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs” instead of making it literally rain food she wished for lots of money, success in her dream career (which I don’t remember what it was), make herself more beautiful and physical mature and even make her crush fall in love with her! As a consequence of those wishes, lot of shit happened, she attracted the wrong crowd, the wrong admirers, she became vain and arrogant to which her crush grew to dislike her even more even though he was spellbound to her. In the end, she wishes the wishing stone to disappear and wishes her life to return back to its boring and mediocre normalcy. And to her surprise, her life wasn’t that bad, her crush did actually love her since the beginning so it wasn’t the end of the world after all.
Yeahhhhhh, that’s the sappy plot and if you are quick enough to find movies, games, etc that inspired that story then you get a virtual cookie. Maybe it was good that I scrapped that story, sounded like a great children’s/young adult book idea with a weak female character expecting a man to make her life better.
It was my first story, so I can’t be too critical about it, I can say that I have improved since then, but it was interesting to realize that that story was a catalyst to me becoming a reclusive and secretive writer.
In retrospect, in that time of my life writing became therapeutic in that I could release many pent up emotions, frustrations, desires and dreams on paper and act out scenarios that I KNOW character/personality-wise I could never achieve. I could live the life of this girl without the physical and mental restrictions that were imposed on my real life.
Now, is writing still therapeutic, is it still as fulfilling or as therapeutic as it once was in my teen years? I am not sure anymore. I just know I have to shift my purpose when it comes to writing. I am living out a life that I dreamed about which was having a loving husband and eventually a family. My stories have always ended with a variation of “they lived happily ever after” as husband/wife with many kids, so does it mean I don’t need to write about that anymore?
I PONDER, I REFLECT, I QUESTION AND I WONDER WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO MY CREATIVE DRIVE
Ever since I finished writing my last story/fanfiction and graduated from college almost 2 years ago… I’ve felt burnt out, unsatisfied and aimless.
The inspiration and motivation to write, to actually type out a story and create characters in a real environment in my amazing imagination — issa gone. Sometimes, I wish I could just connect my mind Matrix style jamming a USB cable to the port of my laptop and let the chaos of my imagination burst onto a word document to form a cohesive piece. Can we develop that kind of tech some time soon, please?
I guess I am tired and uninspired to put my imagination onto paper.
That adult voice that I wrote about earlier, still haunts my mind. I am still afraid to put stuff out there with my REAL name for fear that this ONE PERSON will judge me. It’s pathetic and it’s stupid, isn’t it?
I am an adult now with a family of my own, but I still fear that I will incur the wrath of not only that ONE ADULT but a whole community including my family and in-laws.
It’s so stupid, so wasteful and it makes it sound like I am writing a book that is SO ILLEGAL, SO EVIL that it will open the gates of Hell and summon the legions of Satan, which I mean, not gonna lie would be an awesome superpower but I promise you is far from that! Yes, I know, it could be my own insecurities and anxieties talking which probably doesn’t help.
Maybe I feel like lot of people are watching me which sounds absurd, again my anxiety is masking itself as a voice of reason.
Oh what to do…
I am a mess and have to figure out how to shake off this impeding doom feeling, even though my husband has told me that my fears are irrational and he is the most level headed, grounded, mellow and non-judgmental guy you could ever meet, so I should listen to him more.
Either way, the reason I am writing this post is because I am stuck in a creative rut with my writing ever since I “published” (well, uploaded online in a non-professional environment or way) my fanfiction based on a video game called “Assassin’s Creed III” which was set in Revolutionary America, a historical topic that I am passionate about and studied almost obsessively in College. Now I find it hard to write, to even sit down in front of my laptop and yes I know I am writing this post, clever you. Although blogging in itself requires, at least currently or with the posts I am writing, doesn’t require as much the brow furrowing and hair pulling perfectionist obsession that takes possession of my body when I write a story. Admittedly, it is refreshing to have a break of that feeling but I miss deep diving into a world I created.
Maybe, as I am pregnant with my second child, maybe it is the time to slow down and shift my priorities and maybe I am wrong to feel that way. I mean, I made the mistake after the birth of my first daughter to live in utter self-denial which one could argue was also triggered by my post-partum depression. I will be better to myself this time around. I will be kinder and patient with myself.
I am not the type to force inspiration to come to me because it makes me not only hate myself but hate writing. I don’t want to be pushed around anymore, by my anxiety, insecurities and disapproving voices of old just because I was shy and dared not to speak up years ago, even though internally I was building resistance.
Now that resistance has finally surfaced I will not allow myself to be bullied by anything. I will succeed in whatever I choose and will not allow the past, the fabled authority figure and even a community dictate my actions or my thoughts. I don’t give a shit about their judgment anymore, the moment such a community stifles and denies human creativity and imagination you know there is something deeply wrong with the entire structure.
I want to foster a judgment-free and creative environment where my children can feel free to be themselves and explore different avenues without fearing that an authority figure will shut them down and even if they do encounter such resistance (I pray not from me), I will be there to support them and fight that resistance.