So I’ve been a member of this writers’ place for a year now, and it’s become obvious that these are the times that try me goals. Why did I start writing in the first place? I’ve always written stuff, my family know that. This last year has been fun, exciting, disappointing, thrilling, warming and unpredictable - and not always in that order.
I joined FanFiction.net in October 2006. I’ve posted all my stuff on there for all the world to see - and I’ve had some very nice comments and reviews. Then I joined SPNVille.net around November 2007, but didn’t have the courage to start posting stuff on there till the closing days of 2007. In all this time, I’ve had reviews and comments and nice people saying nice things, and I’ve got into the habit of writing, polishing, posting. Writing, polishing, posting. Writing, polishing, posting. Rinse and repeat. It’s actually started to become slightly monotonous.
Another factor: achievements. When I look at the stories I’ve written, there are a few that stand out. I absolutely loved writing the ‘Supernatural’ story ‘Intervention Pending’, and if it hadn’t been for ‘The Key’ I’d think it were my best stuff. I still do think those two are my best works. But then I look back at ‘The Half Fare’, a ‘Doctor bloody Who’ story that I also loved to write. It wrote itself - in fact, all three of them did. All three were a joy to write, a scream to proofread, and an absolute shame to have to write ‘FIN’ at the bottom of. I missed them the moment they were done, dusted and posted.
But then, looking back, I think about how I started out and got a thrill out of writing about the Doctor, or Sam and Dean, or making up new characters etc. And you know what? I don’t think I’ve moved forward one little bit since I first started posting my stuff. I don’t think I’ve improved, or out-done myself, or made any progress at all in the two plus years I’ve been writing. And that’s what makes me think I should be considering a break. Or a complete stop.
I mentioned as much on the end of the most recent story I completed - that it was time for me to give it up as a bad job, as I don’t seem to be getting any better at this gig. I had some very nice comments, some really uplifting messages from other members. And I thought, well, couldn’t hurt to go back and read some of my own stuff from those early forays into the world of ‘Supernatural’ to see if I remember it the same way it was written. After all, once it’s polished and posted, I never see it again. It’s consigned to the ‘done that’ filing cabinet in my head and, to all intents and purposes, is forgotten about.
It were quite odd - like watching a film you’ve seen and you know the ending of, but can’t remember how it gets there. It’s like finding that someone thinks like you and uses the same phrases - and is coming from the same mindset. It’s like finding something unexpectedly funny where you always remembered it as a bit dour, a bit formal, a bit unremarkable. I can read it and know it’s my writing - there are certain phrases, words, constructions that give it away. But it’s not what I remember. And that makes me a little scared - did I just not see it like that to remember it that way in the first place, or am I actually losing my memory?
And then you can see I have actually got a bit better in my stuff. A more distinguishable style, better adjectives, more outlandish descriptions (my favourite little snippets are the bits that describe Sam going through an eye-roll. You can’t simply write ‘Sam rolled his eyes’, cos that’s just boring. You have to involve buses, gambling wheels or taxis. You just have to.).
So I’m thinking it’s not quite time to hang up my Apple wireless keyboard or pack up my chapters in my old kit bag just yet. This week has been batshit-busy, to borrow my mate’s favourite phrase (birthdays, new season episodes, emergency phone calls, getting ill, dentists, doctors, the works). And yet, in the midst of it all, someone stepped forward and slapped me for thinking I could just give it all up and walk away from it. They made me reconsider something I had already heard but dismissed as fanciful. And they made me realise that it wasn’t writing that I needed to give up, but monotony.
So I did. There as many ways to write a story as there are stories out there. What was it Scully said? ‘The answers are there, you just have to know where to look.’ So I let myself be persuaded into writing a new story with a completely new take on it all. And bang me seven ways from Sunday, but didn’t it just write itself? It’s not as good as the stories I mentioned above. I know it’s still not reaching that standard. I know I have to find the next story that will be up to the grade of those three. I just need time and odd little moments, and it’ll come to me.
So I’ve talked myself out of giving up writing. Looks like I’ll be typing and posting for a while to come. Provided I can find the right stuff to write about.
Peach and lube, everyone.
Supernatural ~ Doctor Who ~ fan-fic