Before I get to today's post, a couple of important announcements. First, on Thursday, Ch1Con revealed our new design and announced our exciting new partnership with Teens Can Write, Too! (TCWT), an awesome teen blog/community run by the famous and fantastic John Hansen. We're teaming up in order to bring you a GIGANTIC TEEN WRITING EMPIRE OF DOOM. There's a lot of stuff going on in line with that, which you can learn about in the announcement posts by Ch1Con and by TCWT, but the main thing I wanted to tell you guys is that I am now an admin, editor, and blogger at TCWT as well as Ch1Con! So keep your eye out over there for my posts--and just in general because awesome. So much exciting stuff is happening!
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!
In the past, I've touched on this topic, but recently I've been thinking about my past and it really brought it to mind. (It also aligns nicely with TCWT's theme this month, which is "Beginnings.") So today I'd like to talk about my very first fans as a writer.
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 .
As such, when I finally finished my first novel at the age of 11, I had a group of friends ready to read it already. I don't know how much of that was genuine and how much was to keep me from getting more pushy, but hey. Beta readers for the win! They read my work and liked it. Still, I ended up deleting all records of my first novel after someone who hadn't even read it got mad about the title because animal rights. Or something. (The book was titled THE DRAGON SLAYERS, in reference to the villains.) That was a weird moment.
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. :)
Thanks for checking in! Come back next time for my post on TCWT's November blog chain, and don't forget to give some love to your fans and/or the authors you're a fan of today.
Images via time4writing.com and angliaalove.blogspot.com.
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