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I have less than ten chapters left. I don't know how long they will take, partly because I'm also feeling pulled to return to Doubts for a while.
My goal for the last month of this decade is to just let things happen in their own time. No pushing. No forcing. Including, and especially, feelings. I need time to just reflect. To just be. If "work" gets done during this time, great. But it's going to be because I love it and I need it. Not because I have something to prove.
Most holidays lost their luster around twelve years old and have now turned into nothing but stress and sadness. Birthdays lasted a little longer, including my best one - and what I often call the best day of my life - when I went to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with friends from school, but almost ever since have been the trigger for severe anxiety episodes. There were a few I was lucky to survive.
And in terms of celebrating my accomplishments? Well, there haven't been many. I dropped out of high school, and my graduation from middle school was very possibly the worst day of my life. (Or at least the events around it.) I've never had a job or relationship to celebrate. And the one thing I've done, the one thing I actually felt proud of - the original publication of Magic Inc. - got shadowed by another massive trigger less than two days after.
I don't want to continue this pattern. No, I will never be an upbeat, energetic sort of person. That's not my personality. And I'm not into faking any emotion. Loud celebrations don't suit my extreme introversion, either. But I want to at least have things to be proud of. And I want to be appreciative of those things. To be able to recognize them when they do happen. And to be able to feel a deep (if quiet) gratitude for them.
I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to appreciate the flow of time instead of being scared of it. I don't know how to feel like anything I've done is worth celebrating. And I don't know how to invite in the good things without feeling like they're just going to disappear. But I'm putting this out there, as I have with other things before, in hopes that maybe someday I'll figure it out. Or it will just happen. Someday, maybe I'll find happiness and peace.
I wish you the best for the holidays.
I could feel myself leaning into the pressure, wanting to keep up the pace. But I know that's not good for me. So, I've been slowing down with some reading and a lot of gaming the past few days.
In the end, taking care of yourself has to come first. It was exciting to be on that wave of inspiration, and I'm thankful for it. But I know that energy never lasts for long. I'll keep making progress at my own pace, whatever that naturally is.
I technically started writing at age 10 after winning second place in poetry contest we were assigned to enter at school. I wrote poetry for a few months after this, but to be honest, my heart wasn't in it. I just liked the positive attention I received from teachers and adult relatives.
I truly found my passion for writing over the following summer when I discovered Harry Potter fanfiction. I began the hilariously named HP's Crazy 7th Year, which was more focused on my own characters and elemental magic system that I'd been playing with in my head for almost two years.
This story went through many versions over the next 3 or 4 years, eventually turning into a multi-story series (including a Lily Evans based prequel) starting with Harry Potter and the Green Flame Torch. (Remember that rumored 7th book title?) These stories were full of what existed of Magic Inc. at that time, because I never intended to fully share that world. It was too personal.
Oh, how times have changed! Now, I can't imagine living a life where Magic Inc. was still a secret. When it comes to writing, the more personal it is, the more I love it. My best work is vulnerable and filled with raw emotion. And while it is still scary to share that, I don't know how to hold it in anymore.
When I got into high school, I started writing novels. My first was Dreaming in Shadow. From there, each idea I had expanded into an entire universe of connected stories. I worked on several ideas for this universe for years, while planning out many others. But things really came together when I decided to turn Magic Inc. into a series that served as the core of my world.
I've come to appreciate how each step of my writing journey led me to where I am now. I played with ideas in fanfiction that would become essential to my stories. I rewrote the beginning of Dreaming in Shadow over and over as I grew as writer. And as I re-edit Magic Inc. Book One, I'm making the beginning of my series the best it can be going forward.
I'm almost ready to hibernate.
About this time of year, I start imagining what it would be like to hide away from the world until spring. I love the autumn weather, but I could skip being outdoors in winter. In fact, I think I could skip the majority of in-person socializing for three months and be fine.
Just enjoying all the little introvert pleasures. Reading. Watching movies and TV shows. Playing video games. Listening to music and podcasts. And letting my creativity flow however it wishes.
It would be so wonderful to take this time to rejuvenate. Recover from the stress of the current year and prepare for the next. Instead, we get holidays.
I know that holidays can be rejuvenating for some. But holidays are more stress than they're worth, for me. If I'm not anxious about what to buy or how to balance the social demands on my time, I'm depressed that holidays are supposed to make you feel happy. And I'm never happy. I'm always carrying this emotional weight, even on my best days.
I want to appreciate the little things again. To give myself the time to explore my favorite mediums and to have the energy to really appreciate their worth. But I fear the strain of the holidays may keep me from that. Again.
Sometimes I think I'd be better off disappearing from social media for all of November. But then, I realize that it's the only connection I have to the outside world. Even if it always feels like I'm looking in a window and waving instead of being inside the community building with everyone else.
Usually YouTube and Instagram. I follow a few BookTubers and a ton of Bookstagrammers.
2. How did you get into reading?
I was one of those classic Harry Potter kids who didn't really like reading until Harry Potter. But I always liked telling stories. I used to open up picture books as a young child and make up my own stories.
3. How has your taste in books changed as you’ve gotten older?
I read (and enjoy) a lot more contemporary books than I used to. I used to think anything without some kind of fantasy element was boring. The only "realistic" fiction I liked as a teenager was The Princess Diaries and a few other Meg Cabot standalones, which always featured pretty wild situations. Then, about nine years ago, I (re)discovered Sarah Dessen, and I was hooked. I realized I care way more about the characters and relationships than the magic - something you can see in my own work time and time again.
4. How often do you buy books?
Any time there's a Book Outlet sale. But also the rare times I actually leave the house and find myself near a bookstore. And if there's anything I'm interested in during Kindle sales.
5. How did you get into BookTubing/Blogging?
I don't know if I count as a book blogger, since I talk more about writing here than reading, but I've been interested in talking about the media I love in text form for over ten years. I'm just often afraid people won't agree with or like what I have to say.
6. How do you react when you don’t like the end of a book?
This... doesn't really happen? I mean, it does... but even if an ending tears me up emotionally, I can usually understand why the author went that way. And those emotional endings are often part of why I love a book. It's pretty rare that I totally don't "get" an ending. But I like stories to end with an impact, so I'm more likely to complain about a mediocre ending than an intense one.
7. How often have you taken a sneaky look at the back page of a book to see if it’s a happy ending?
Never. I only look up endings if I'm seriously considering not continuing the book/series.