I’ve been writing as long as I was developmentally capable of doing so. Prior to that, I was bossing around my cousins, directing their play with my fantastical stories (which were mostly pulled directly from TV and film, because all creativity inevitably begins with fanfic). We were about five years old, and they were all-too happy to be told what characters they were playing and what they were doing, because apparently I “had the best stories.” In hindsight, this might be why one of them got into theater. You’re welcome, Elena.
By third grade I was writing my own version of the Berenstain Bears starring snakes, because snakes were what I could draw. Why they retained human dwellings and furniture is beyond me. I pretty much always had a story running in my head, which some would call maladaptive daydreaming but I call free entertainment. My mom’s go-to punishment for misbehavior was having us sit in a chair with nothing to do, staring at the wall–pure torture for my sisters and a pleasant getaway for me.
I continued to write books and stories, but quickly got the impression that writing is not a Real Job, at least not one that could pay the bills, so my fantasy writing fell by the wayside and I mostly wrote things like movie reviews, game walkthroughs, and nonfiction/educational stuff for fun. In college I did try to write the big fantasy epic that had been playing in my head all through high school. It’s now in a binder somewhere in my garage gathering dust.
After college I got married, found out my B.S. was effectively worthless without a higher degree, and started spawning mini-mes while generally being unhappy with the trajectory of my life. My son was diagnosed with autism, and a few years later we figured out I was on the spectrum as well. My spouse has ADHD and my eldest daughter does too, so we’ve got all kinds of lovely neurodiversity in our household.
In 2018 I got tired of the endless stories beating around in my brain and tried to write some of them down again, mostly in the form of fanfic. I found I missed writing. Creative writing, which is a lot harder for me than nonfiction/factual. That shit is easy. I dusted off my fantasy epic (figuratively, it’s still in the garage) and started working on that. I currently have a vague outline for eight or so books, the first of which I am editing now.
This is probably longer than it needed to be so thanks for sticking around until the end. I hereby give you permission to treat yourself, because sometimes we just need a little nudge from a complete stranger, right? So go eat that cookie or watch that show.