Hidden Talents & Guilty Pleasures

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I love writing. I know, this must be a shock, coming from someone who writes a blog. But the truth is, I’ve always loved writing. It led me to join my school newspaper in high school. It’s what inspired me to pursue a degree in journalism in undergrad. When I found out that it’s a crucial part of being a lawyer, it spurred my interest in that profession even more.

When I was younger, I made it my goal to write a novel. I haven’t yet achieved that goal. I really haven’t even come close. But I still want to. Today, I found some long-lost inspiration hiding on an old computer.

One of the things that my friend and I reminisced a lot about this weekend was how we used to (geek alert…) participate in online role-playing websites. Harry Potter sites and fantasy sites mostly, but there were others as well. In case you’re not familiar, here’s the basic structure of the sites we frequented: you make a character, give them a backstory and describe how they fit into the overall “world” of the site. The creators or moderators of the role-play site set up different areas in which these characters could interact, so you either started or joined a “thread,” basically writing out the interaction between your character and others participating in the thread. Were we total geeks for being into online role-playing? Of course. Was it a great way to write and develop characters with intricate backstories, characters that might be used in later (actual) writing projects? I’m starting to think so.

I promised my friend that when I got home from Chicago, I would try to find all of the old descriptions and boards that we used to play on…just for fun. The funny thing is…I found them. At least one that we created together, called Elysiam. This was a role-play site that we created together. We came up with the backstory, the main areas and (of course) our characters who ruled it all. The weirdest part was that when I found the descriptions, I didn’t think they were awful. Certainly not award-winning material, but considering it was written by a couple of 12- or 13-year-old girls, not bad at all.

Finding the old material got me thinking. If I can stumble across things that I wrote almost 10 years ago and think “huh…that’s actually not so bad,” what could I do now? It strengthened my resolve to start writing again…not just for class, but also for fun. I found the beginnings of a novel I once conceived an idea for in the same folder that I had saved the Elysiam descriptions in, and I’m thinking that it might be worth it to develop those characters and continue that story. At the very least as an exercise in getting back into writing. I know that I won’t have much time until school ends, but I’m going to make writing a priority this summer as a way to de-stress and hopefully working towards my goal of finishing a novel (whether or not it ever actually gets published). I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Oh, and if you’re interested in reading/critiquing a few chapters once I’ve finished them, please let me know. I’d love feedback and advice. 🙂

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