Apologies for the lack of posting! I have been super busy in the last week – we’re having to go out to the academy libraries and manually import every book in their collections onto the new library management systems. It’s frying my brain and the hour commute there and another hour back has left me exhausted most evenings.

It also meant that I sort of missed the time frame on this post, but I like the idea of it so much that I’m going to continue with it anyway. We’re all a little late at one point or another.

Every Friday over at his blog TerribleMinds, Chuck Wendig sets a flash fiction challenge. Last week he didn’t ask for a flash fiction, but has instead asked for a 1,000 word essay on ‘Why I Write’.

Writing always starts with reading. I doubt that there is any author in the world who decided that they wanted to write a book without reading quite a few first. And this of course includes myself.

I love reading. I love escaping into a different world, following different characters into places that are different to my world and my reality, whether that reality is an alternative reality, recognisably earth, or something completely different to our own world. There’s just something about a good book, where it gives you the tools to fire up your own imagination, and you can be right there along with the main character, diving from waterfalls, exploring tombs, or casting magic – whatever it is they get up to, the author of the book sets the scene, and you give it the details.

c95b4052bdb8eef91e30bf073149e025That sense of escapism, that love of being in other places whilst still being curled up in a nest on the sofa, is what lead me to writing.

I first started writing just after I moved house. I know this, because the first ever story I wrote was in a notebook that a friend gave me as a leaving present. It was a Pokemon fan fiction, and as an twelve year olds first story, it wasn’t very good. I still have that notebook, I know exactly where it is, although I don’t tend to go and read that story much. It’s only about 20 pages, but it is rather cringe worthy.

But we all have to start somewhere, don’t we?

The next thing I wrote was a novel. A whole eighty pages of hand written prose. Me and best friend of the time wrote novels together. Hers centred around twins linked with a prophecy, and mine was about a group of ten teens with powers over the elements. Sharing an activity, taking in our folders with our writing and reading them to each other, it was such a fun hobby to share.

And again, I still have that folder. In it is the actual novel (it was going to be the first of eight, I had it all planned out), all the notes about the characters, plot guides, extracts, novel synopsis (of course I didn’t know all these posh words back then), I even had my own little language I’d work out for the spirits that showed up at one point.

The main point of this, is that I was absorbed. I was building this world, this setting, these characters, and I surrounded myself with them.

And I loved it.

Unfortunately after that, there was a bit of a break. School, mutating friendships, and other bits and pieces got in the way of me putting pen to paper. Novel wise anyway, Around this time I read a lot of fan fiction, and another friend I had at the time would roleplay with me – we’d each pick a character and write out a little paragraph of a scene. Not classically writing, but it certainly got me started with my love of roleplaying.

But that didn’t stop me imagining.

19fdd9ee91af6a9c43f0a06349776000I’m a daydreamer, always have been, always will be if I have any say in it. Just because I wasn’t putting my pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as is the mostly the case these days) didn’t mean that my brain wasn’t active. There’s a list of the novels in my head here and some of those have been around for ages. Supernatural? That’s the name I gave the above novel, the one I wrote aged fourteen. It’s still around (although it doesn’t really have a story line, the characters are still very much in my head and getting developed). Black Dawn – an idea I got after reading a fan fiction.

I started writing again when I got to university. At UEA, my friends told me about this challenge, National Novel Writing Month, where you try to get 50,000 words in a month. That was my second year, 2011. I wrote Black Dawn (badly, it’s currently getting a plot revision before a re-write) and ever since then, I’ve been hooked on writing again. My imagination is as wild as it’s ever been, and now I am actually developing my craft and getting good at this whole words onto paper thing.

What I am trying to explain is that I write because I love imagination. My imagination is decidedly over-active, and in there I have all these worlds, and characters, and plots jumping out at me, saying ‘look at me, look at what I could be, please write me!’ and it is impossible to ignore it sometimes. I need to get them out of my head and onto paper.

800fcee2fdaf4a79b3019fd559281e59I write because I love losing myself in worlds that don’t quite exist. My imagination allows me to create all sorts of wonderful things, and writing allows me to get them out of my head. I can build them up around me, and then most importantly of all, I can share them with other people.

I love losing myself in a good book, and I want to impart that to other people. If I can write a book that someone else can lose themselves in whilst reading, and explore a brand new world, then that for me is a win. Giving someone else the joy of reading and losing themselves in a good book, that’s what it’s about.

And that, is why I write.