On Writing (Reviews, NaNoWriMo, and Fanfics, Oh My!)

The funny thing is that I used to hate writing reviews. I considered them to be ‘unoriginal’ and I yearned to stretch my wings in order that I may engage in ‘real’ writing. It’s all poppycock, of course, and almost everything I wrote was terribly verbose to boot. All writing is real writing, and writing book reviews is something that has most definitely honed my general writing skills. Not to mention that all of the reading I do allows me to appreciate and learn from a variety of different writing styles.

So it’s safe to say that I no longer dislike writing reviews. Instead, I see everything I write as an opportunity. Every stroke of my pen on paper or tap at the keys of my laptop is a chance to better myself and cultivate my own literary style as I make my way through this world as a writer.

I didn’t win NaNoWriMo this year, and that’s OK. I tried, but in the end I had too much work to get done and all I managed in November was 25,111 words. The thing of it is that not even all of that was any of my own original fiction. I kept a running Google doc this past November where I pasted all of my drabbles, all of my scenes, my drafts from essays for class, my blog posts, my outlines, my journal entries, all funneled into a 59 page document of chaos. When I finally do win NaNo again (which, note that I did win while still in high school and blessed with free time) I fully plan to do so in a much more organized fashion.

Going back to my bitter, review-hating journal entry from 2015 that prompted this post, I was a little bit right about one thing in that rant I made in an old notebook I stumbled upon the other day. I said that writing only on occasion was almost worse than not writing at all because having inspiration but not enough outlet is almost as bad as having no inspiration at all.

Don’t get me wrong, writer’s block SUCKS. I know for a fact that there are a few fanfics sitting out there and gathering dust due to a lack of inspiration on my part. But I also know that I have fanfics that have gone without updates and are thus also gathering dust, not due to lack of inspiration, but simply because I haven’t had time to type up a coherent narrative using what has inspired me. (And before anyone asks: no, I’m not telling you my username or fic titles. I get enough update requests from people who already read my works, I don’t want them knowing my real name).

There is also the struggle of competing inspirations. Sometimes I want to be writing something for an original story, but then I get fixated on an idea like “What if Harry Potter was raised by Rose Tyler and the Doctor?” or “What if Hermione Granger was secretly also the reincarnation of Salazar Slytherin?” and my poor original characters are left in the dust. (Neither of those fics are mine by the way – I just said that I don’t want anyone to connect my profile to my real name; why would I describe my plots?)

This is all also presupposing that I have finished both my homework and my professional work for the week, which sadly doesn’t happen often enough to allow for a significant amount of writing time. While I do allocate myself a certain amount of recreational time, I am, shockingly enough, a responsible adult who pays bills and passes classes. All the same, I do also keep up with creative enterprises such as reading, watching Doctor Who, and writing for this blog because these things make me happy, and mental health is incredibly important. Coincidentally enough, that is also why I go on walks and socialize with other humans on occasion. Though to be honest, coming off of finals week, there wasn’t much of that since I was mostly just doing work.

When it comes down to it, writing for me is a deeply personal experience, but one that I enjoy sharing, so please do peruse the pages of this website and read on. (Just don’t expect to knowingly read any of my fanfics 😘)

Happy writing!

Cheers,

Talia

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