This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.
With NaNoWriMo going on this month, I’ve been seeing a bunch of blog/LJ/whatever entries about individual’s experiences of such thing. I have yet to participate in it because I kind of don’t like the pressure of churning out 50,000 words in 30 days and because I’m always writing for a holiday fic exchange around this time of year. I actually finished the holiday fic earlier than anticipated, but I still didn’t want to participate in NaNoWriMo. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t write something else at my own pace! In fact, lately I’ve been putting Portie the netbook to a good use by going to Hell(o) Beans in Itaewon, my favourite coffee shop in Seoul. With Portie and one of my favourite drinks, I can stay there for hours as I surf the net (yay for Wi-Fi!) and write fics.
Stephanie at Lunsh wrote an entry asking why we write. That simple question actually stumped me. Why do I write? I mean the simplest answer to that question is that I enjoy it, but after reading her entry, I actually started to think about why I enjoy it.
That made me think about myself as a child and how a simple childhood enjoyment turned into something I still enjoy as an adult. I mentioned before that I grew up as an only child and how I had to learn to entertain by myself. Well, the easiest way was to read, and around third grade, I was introduced to the genius of Roald Dahl by my favourite elementary school teacher. She read us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in class, and that became a major turning point for me as I discovered the joy of books. I devoured whatever I read, which in turn developed my skimming skills.
While I expanded my imagination, I never quite got into writing very much. However, that changed after I read The Diary of Anne Frank in fifth grade, which left an impact on me in so many ways that it’s not even funny. From there, I became an aficionado of the Holocaust, and I started to keep a diary. They were terribly written, mind you, nowhere near the standard of Anne’s, but I started to write these pre-pubescent diaries. Then in middle school, I tried to write a fantasy novel using the Megamorphs (aka Animorphs series by K.A.A. Applegate) technique of writing a chapter from a different character’s POV. Again, that was a mess of a story, and I am ashamed to think it was the best thing I had written. My writing skills disgusted me back then.
As I grew older and immersed myself into different hobbies such as animes, video games, and the big Internet, I discovered fanfictions. Oh. Man. That opened up a new can of worms right there. I became addicted to reading these stories written for fans by fans, and I decided to slowly try to write my own. The ones I wrote in my sophomore year make me cringe when I look at them, making me wonder why I was so stubborn to not have people proofread them for me. Luckily, I joined the Harry Potter fandom, and that influenced me to write and use beta readers!
Seven years later, I’m still in the Harry Potter fandom, I still write fanfics in this fandom, and I still read in this fandom. Being in fandom (and studying English literature in college) has given me so much — friends, writing experience, and most of all, learning experience. I’ve learned how different it is to write as a blogger, as a fanfic writer, and as an essay writer who learned to BS through the words. I love expressing myself through words, which has always been much easier for me to do than being verbal. When I write, I try to act out as that person, even if my acting skills are quite lacking. I use writing as a way to distract myself from whatever is bothering me. Simply put, I write because I enjoy it. That should be a good enough reason. Sometimes we don’t need to have a good reason to do anything as long as it makes us happy, and that, my friends, is why I write.