Love Changed My Writing
I started writing when I was in middle school. I loved YA romance so I tried to copy the style as much as possible. I would go through the whole process, writing, editing, binding the book, and even creating the cover. While it was a fun creative experience for me it led to some really awkward stories about falling in love when I didn't even have a clear concept of what love truly was. I thought I knew what love was from the stories that I had read (Twilight being one of them), but it wasn't what love actually was. It was the idea of love. The idea that one person could completely turn your life upside down and all of the sudden they were all that you were thinking about and all you cared about. It wasn't until many years later that I realized the falling in love part was just a fraction of what love truly was.
There was a time in my life where I had given up on reading completely and didn't write for fun. I tried to journal my feelings but I couldn't keep that up. It was a time in my life where I was too busy with school and too busy trying to fit in. I wished that I would have kept up my writing during that time. If I had it would have been much easier to start seriously writing when I did. But instead I completely ignored it. Instead of reading about the love on paper, I was trying to chase the feeling that the books gave me in real life. Heart pounding, sweaty palm, life changing love. When I had my first kiss I was disappointed that it was nothing like what the books had wrote. It was lackluster and while I was excited to have reached that point, I was never excited about the actual kiss. Thats how a lot of things went with my first boyfriend actually. After awhile I felt like the books had all lied to me. That love did not make you feel like you could move mountains. Love did make time stop, it slowed it down but definitely did not stop it. It was actually that realization that brought me back to reading in a funny way. I started reading fanfiction.
Now before the haters start coming at me. I do believe that fanfiction is a real form of writing and there are many people that excel at it. I do not. But many other people do. Not all fanfiction is rushed. There are many people who take a great deal of time to craft these stories. If we are being honest it is actually also a really good way to hone your writing skills. You get instant feedback and you are practicing your craft. Thanks to the people who spent their time writing, I was able to get back into reading. For awhile it was just fanfiction but then I started to get into books again and soon enough I was devouring books at the speed I used to. But I still was not able to bring myself to actually craft any stories. Whenever I had looked at the paper I could not bring myself to write anything. If I did manage to write it would be only one or two paragraphs at the most.
The next time I wrote, I wrote about darkness. There was a few years of my adolescence where I was going through a really hard time and it grew an idea in me. All the sudden I had the clearest picture in my mind and I knew that if I did not write down what I was seeing, that it would be gone forever. While I do not have the story any more, I remember it very clearly. Maybe one day I will rewrite it and have it published here, but only time will tell.
You may be wondering where the love aspect of my writing has gone? Well believe it or not, I was not able to fully write again until I had met my wife. Funny thing is, the books don't lie about love. When I had first met my wife I fell head over heels for her. I finally could understand what the books were talking about. Time stopped and flew by all at once. It was 2 weeks, then 2 months, then 2 years in a blink of an eye. Falling in love was exactly how the books wrote it. My life did shift. So did hers. Our relationship was everything and we were happy that we had finally found the person that we had wanted to be with for the rest of our lives. But even then, I was not writing, I was experiencing. It was only until after 4 years together did I feel like I wanted to write. I started with blog posts and ended with a full 100k+ word novel. But what was the change?
Books do not lie about falling in love, but they severely gloss over what it is like to keep that love going. Falling in love is fun and exciting but it is also selfish. When you are falling in love you may think that it is the person that you are paying attention to but it's the opposite. You are paying attention to how they make you feel. After the "honeymoon" phase love can be different. Instead of feeling like you are falling off a cliff, you feel like you are surrounded in a comfy blanket on a cold rainy day. Love you experience after the falling is not exciting, it comforting. It's going to work and knowing that your best friend is waiting for you. It's coming home and wanting to hear about how their day was. Did they finished the project they were so stressed about? Did they eat enough? The love changes. You are no longer just thinking about how you feel, you are thinking about them now as well.
This is not to say that every relationship will be like this though. Love takes hard work. You have to push your own feelings aside. People like to fight. They like to get angry. And they like to blame. But you cannot do that in a relationship. You have to focus on what is best for you two moving forward. Again, how did this type of love make me write again when all books are about falling in love?
One thing that this type of love offers you is security and I needed that in order to grow. I was afraid of my thoughts. No, I was afraid of what people thought of them. Would they laugh at me? What if I failed as a writer? What if the person I loved thought that my writing was stupid?
These thoughts no longer plagued my mind when I started to write. She was the one who pushed me to do it.
"I could never do that. I am amazed that you could write like that."
"Not many people can do what you do." (They can but i'll take it.)
"I will be the first one to buy copies of your books." "I will post about your books."
"I will tell my friends about your books."
Event hough the voice in the back of my head, the fear, told me I should be embarrassed... her voice was louder.
It was this love that made it so I could continue to write and share stories with everyone.