This isn't just a prompt for wordbound. I had planned to make this blog post hours before the image prompt dropped on instagram and twitter. It just so happens that the blogging prompt this week ties into my 'confession' of sorts... So without further pause, let's jump right into this...
I let people run my writing life. I had for a long time, and only just realized recently that it had to stop. I do not have friends that are writers or artists and only a very few read. Those readers do not know about good reads or booktube or anything really of the online community, so there is only me, sitting quietly in the Pennsylvania Mountains, my laptop screen the only portal to the writer/reading world outside our lush forests. I simply watch others, sitting quietly without engaging, gently laughing at booktubers and their jokes and reviews and comic sketches.
But it wasn't always like that... No, when I was in late elementary school, 5th grade, all the way through high school and college, I was a bad ass pro-boards HTML Coding admin and creator of some of the biggest and longest Role-play and community story writing threads. My longest site lasted five years. People begged to Role-play with me. I NEVER took writing or role-play seriously; it was a fun hobby that I would do both in and out of home and school. I felt free, never judged, and was having a blast. I never did home work, never studied for tests, and didn't care what my employment or college degree was as long as I was writing and role-playing.
But, it didn't last... people, and the internet, change. Proboards died, replaced by skype and other instant-chats. People grow up, now young adults who didn't have time or the passion for Role-playing anymore. Plus, when the admin, (myself), was too busy finally taking writing seriously, (writing novels for NaNoWriMo since 2007 now), why should they waste their time role-playing when the admin wasn't even there?
So when the role-playing stopped and the proboard forums died, I buried myself into novel writing and NaNoWriMo. My 1st book, Silent Howl, came in the wake of the Twilight books and around the time of the movie craze. When I finally was nearing the end of writing Silent Howl, Twilight and Vampires and Werewolves were being mocked, and the feminists were growing and shouting louder about the unhealthy relationships in the story. I, for some reason, felt the need to stop writing Silent Howl simply because of two reasons. One: the public were actively bashing the genre/species and Two: A lot of the characters were based off friends who were no longer my friend,s due to falling out or fighting... and it felt weird to hold on to that.
This ugly trend started, where I would write something that inspired me 'in the now' with characters that were based off friends and family, and then when the public bashed it, or I was no longer friends with said people, I backed out.
And when that didn't happen? Well, I had three 'friends' in my life who ruined it. These were expert writers and artists, in my opinion, nearly gods in my eyes and these people I cut ties with back in 2013. When I made something REALLY creative, that I felt really inspired or excited to try, they'd shoot me down... one would say, "that was already done" and "it reminds me of this comic/anime/ect", and then the second person would want to join in on my idea, and if we wrote it together or started role-playing or fleshing out ideas, they would twist it so much I didn't want a part of it anymore... and the third person? They did both, and much worse... EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And killed all my ideas... but I won't dwell on that long lost past...
The problem was me. I was letting the public, friends, and family, through their judgement and responses, actively control my writing. I suddenly became distant, scared, and even to this day, second guess all my work. I would spend days on a story, only to scrap it when one of my friends said it was weird.
This hit me hard in 2013-2015... until 2016 when I, (and I highly doubt Kristina Horner is reading this and if you are... oh my god I'm so sorry but), I got PISSED. I was so excited for Kristina's Ren Fair NaNovel. I watched her youtube video on writing every day and watched her word count climb, and got really excited because I LOVE Ren Fair. But because Trump became President, she threw the story away, and I was SO MAD that she let that affect/effect her... and when I mentioned it to my husband, he replied, "but you've been doing that since you started writing..." and it hit me... HARD.
After that, I admitted to myself that I would no longer show my work to anyone or talk about it. But without having anyone to talk to, I simply gave up writing. I was bored, unmotivated, uninspired, and shuffled through prompts like it was the bane of my life... until July 2016 Camp NaNoWriMo when I finally wrote something, beginning, middle, and end, that I enjoyed. However, it is based off my home town and my friends and family. I'm going to self publish it with create space, like I did with all my other stories, soon, but not show it to anyone....
This leads me to my second confession.
I DESPERATELY want to write something I enjoy and I love and I can get lost in... but every time I try, I get AFRAID. Afraid that I'm breaking all the 'writing rules' that constantly flood my twitter, instagram, and facebook. All the, "write what you know" and "you must know where your story is going", and blah, blah, blah. I'm afraid to let go, to just write and explore a world and characters, like I do when I role-play... Oh, I started role-playing by the way, on Flight Rising. I'm MaryahStevens on there too, and right now my dragon Janus is working BEAUTIFULLY with me...
But that aside, why can't I freely enjoy playing around with my own original work like I do with role-playing? Why do writing rules confine me to fear? Why can't I let this go...? I WANT to doodle characters, to write about them interacting, and to world build, but something holds me back... mostly, I think, it's my mind telling me that no one else will like this and I can never show it to anyone because it doesn't fit traditional publishing views, roles, what have you... That was something Katytastic said at Book Con this year, I was there. She was saying that self-publishing has so much more freedom to do what they want without having to fit in a little business box, (that's not quote word for word mind you). And she is right.
There are SO MANY artists and writers I follow on deviantart, webtoon, and other sites that have insanely unique and cool worlds they show off. This stuff a traditional publishing house would probably never touch. And these writers and artists are having fun and some are even making money. I ENVY that..
And now my last confession...
I started reading Eliza and her Monsters, (by Francesca Zappia) today, and literally started crying. I felt so drawn to the book. Everything about it screams me, (except I'm not as rude and anti-social as the main character). I WANT to work on my own species of characters and world like I used to growing up. I WANT to write and draw it... I haven't drawn since 2013 and that's when I quit Deviantart, which I have been on for more than 10 years! I WANT to make comic pages and get lost in a world of my own. And just like Eliza... I have my own monsters... ones I made a long, long, time ago. One that were made fun of and yes, shortly deleted off deviantart and my account deactivated due to being made fun of and bullied...
My 3rd confession?
I WANT to work on them, update them, expand upon them... but I'M AFRAID. I'm afraid that I will back out of EVERY SINGLE PROJECT I work on and never get anywhere. Afraid I'll never do my creations justice. Afraid no one will like them...
and so, with a shaky breath, I'm posting them below. My art work, (and an old friend with credit), and the reference links. Thankfully, even though I deactivated my deviantart account, I still have these creations saved and time stamped on furaffinity, something I barely played with around the time I made these monsters.
Meet my monsters, the SappaS.
Or at least, what they originally were.
The image above was done by Jess McGee. https://www.furaffinity.net/view/11384875/
So... should I work on my monsters?
Or should I scrap all my ideas like I usually do and continue to create in fear.
Welcome to my Blog
Hey, I'm Maryah Stevens, a 25 year old, self-published, college graduate, married, 1st time mom! Phew!