Second, a NaNoWriMo update: After a rough first week, I'm finally catching up on my word count. It's fascinating, working from the POV of OCD itself. Trying to create a relatable character out of a mental illness while staying true to the nature of that illness and the fact that the OCD is, essentially, a "villain" in this story is a wonderful challenge. I'm enjoying it a lot. :)
Okay, on to today's post now!
I started writing at a pretty young age, as you know. When I was younger, I was a lot more vivacious. I don't think I'd say I was an extrovert, but I didn't have nearly the volume of anxiety problems as I do now. Therefore, I was not one to ever shut up about my writing .
My point is that I had a lot of support from the beginning when it came to my writing, and that mattered to me. Honestly, a lot of the time, when I would talk about my writing or related things, it was because I was looking for support and praise. I do still do that sometimes (it's a common OCD compulsion), but now I can take critique a lot better than I could then. As such, their support meant everything to me. It may even have determined my decision to keep going as a writer, although it's hard for me to really say.
One of those "first fans" is still my best friend today, and she continues to support me as much as ever. She's fantastic at reassuring me that I'm not total crap as a writer, and her reactions really help me to gauge the emotional impact of my stories.
Another one of my "fans" sticks strongly in my mind because of the incredible enthusiasm she had for my writing. Through middle and high school, even as we drifted apart, she continued to seek me out for my books and even got her mom interested in them. I had a really surreal conversation with the both of them at the beginning of high school when she returned a rough copy of my book to me. Until then, I hadn't known she had shared it, but her mom's words of praise mingling with hers made me feel like a "real" writer for maybe the first time. If I had to name one "first fan," she would probably be the one I'd think of first.
In between elementary and middle school, I joined an online writing community where I got another set of "first fans," many of whom I got to meet last summer at Ch1Con! (The story of my Ch1Con 2014 experience is available here.) They, too, mean a lot to me. When I started getting replies on the first chapter I ever posted on that community, I printed them out. All of them. They made me so happy! I don't have them anymore, but I remember that, that feeling, and how much I meant to have other writers telling me I had something good.
It was through Write It! that I adjusted to critique and learned how to take rejection, which was helped by the fact I was meting out some critique of my own, haha. The Write It-ers continue to be great friends and a huge support as beta readers and critique partners--and fans.
I guess what I want to say here is that writers get a lot of rejections, critique, and heartbreak in their careers, but we also get a lot of support and love through our fans. My fanbase may be very small right now, but they still mean the world to me. So thank you, guys. Thank you so very much. :)
Images via time4writing.com and angliaalove.blogspot.com.