Of Nerves, New Ideas, and Neopets

Currently listening to Lights, by Ellie Goulding

You know what’s seriously nerve-racking? The sudden realization that people are reading your writing. And not just people, but people. Strange people. People you’ve never met and will probably never meet.

This isn’t a new sensation for me; as some people might know, I’ve been involved off and on in role-playing on Tumblr*. And with that, every now and then you get a non-RPer who likes or reblogs one of your roleplay posts, or a drabble, or an in-character ask. Personally, I don’t have any issues with that–it’s great that people like the posts and it’s awesome that they express it! But sometimes there’s a moment of “Oh my God someone is actually reading this. Who are they? Why are they reading it? Do they really like it? How often are they reading it?”. I mean, it’s writing that you’ve put out in public, so it’s reasonable that other people might stumble onto it and read it, but seeing actual evidence that that hypothetical audience exists tends to give me a moment of…well, it’s not quite panic, but…it kind of is. Maybe a flash of crippling insecurity before O get over it and go on with my day.

I get a similar feeling when it comes to people reading my other writing–my book, my short stories…You see, I’ve been seeing some Kindle sales of Songstruck recently that I know don’t belong to anyone I know. That’s great! It’s what I want–what any author wants! It’s still a little unsettling, though, and there’s still that moment of fright because people are reading things I wrote. It’s not like a roleplay where there’s at least one other writing partner spinning stories with me and we’ve got a shared responsibility for the content that people are reading; my book is just me. I’m a little more exposed than I’m used to, so it always takes a few moments longer for me to shake off the strange realization that people are actually reading my work. And I’ve been even more surprised to see that people have been pretty steadily reading my stories on QuarterReads.com. Those are just short stories that I’ve scrawled in my spare time or when I needed to take a break from other writing, and people are reading them, too. Hopefully, they’re even liking them. But it’s still intensely weird for me sometimes to see such crystal-clear evidence of their presence.

What else was I going to write about today? Oh, right. New ideas. One of my biggest problems has always been sticking with a writing idea and following through with it. Despite that, I’ve been managing to pretty steadily work on Stagestruck and I’m fairly pleased with how it’s going even though I still need to go back and fix those chunks at the beginning. But I’ve also got a few ideas for an Alice in Wonderland-inspired piece bouncing around in my head. I’ve already got drafts of three different possible Wonderlandish stories that I’ve tinkered with over the past year or so, but last night a series of characters came to mind. I had to open up Storyist to make pages for them, and I even found some images that just screamed those characters. So now I want to explore those characters and nail down a story for them. I’m trying to resist the urge. For now, at least, so that I can keep up the progress on Stagestruck

But maybe if I just write a short story about them for now…


*I feel like it would be disingenuous if I didn’t admit that I got my start with roleplaying as an 11-year-old on Neopets.com. I still have one of my accounts there, too, even if I haven’t logged on in ages**, and I still mourn the loss of my oldest account which I lost the password for years ago and must have been purged from the system. Medieval-world-inspired RPs were my thing. And more often than not, I wrote some kind of thief or mage. Go figure.

**That’s a lie. I logged in today, because this post made me think about it. And I’ve got a Halloween Lupe, a Zombie Peophin, a Mutant Jetsam and a dorky Electric Lenny because the Lab Ray never gave me anything cool. Jealous? 😛


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