Why do I write stories?
This is a question I've been asking myself a LOT lately. And here are the answers that always come up:
- I write because I love it.
- I write because it makes me happy.
- I write because I want to make readers happy.
These three things are so simple. So simple. But as simple as they are, it's just as simple to lose sight of them.
I guess I've just been tired and worn out and a little bit sad lately.
Which is not the way I want to start a bright new year.
Which is not the way I want to feel when I think about writing.
SO! This is to say that I have an exciting announcement - a new venture that I would like to try.
I've talked about it before, but for those of you who missed it: I first started writing seriously after posting a novel online. I used one of the many free fiction sites out there and posted chapter by chapter under a penname. No one in the world knew it was me, not friends, not family, and it was the most liberating experience ever. Over time, I amassed a significant readership and won several awards, including best novel of the year on that site, entirely thanks to the kindness and support of strangers.
I connected with people who knew me only through my words. They left reviews, and I responded, and we opened a dialogue about the story, the characters, the setting. They told me what they liked and what they didn't like, and I listened and learned and started growing into the writer I am today.
That's what I want to remember. That's what I want to go back to: that rush of having people READ MY WORDS, not with the intent to maybe sell or pitch or market. No, they wanted to read my words because they enjoyed them, because they connected with something in the story. They wanted to read my words for fun! One person even confessed that they had printed my novel out and read part of it on the toilet that morning, and I was psyched and pumped and hysterically laughing.
There is so much joy to be had in writing, and I don't want to forget that. Not this year.
So this is an announcement that I'm going back to my roots. This year, I will be posting a novel on Wattpad for anyone and everyone who wants to read. I talk about writing on this blog constantly, but only a handful of you have ever actually read anything I've written. So this will be my exciting new venture, my reminder to myself that I should value writing for fun, for myself, and for connecting with readers above all else.
The novel is going to be a brand-new one, and it's my mermaid idea that I've had for a long while. It's called SEAWALL, it's a YA historical fantasy, and it's The Little Mermaid meets Downton Abbey set on the Irish coast in the early 1900s. There will be magic, romance, a battle between good and evil, heartache, lightning-tossed seas, and betrayal (I suddenly feel like the grandpa from The Princess Bride), and I am so excited to share it with you. I'm going to be writing it and posting it chapter by chapter, so the story will unfold for me at the same time that it does for you.
SEAWALL was never something I would contemplate one day putting through the publishing wringer, anyway, so I thought this would be a good way to kill two birds: 1) share my work with readers once again, and 2) explore this with a fun, fresh, no-limits, no-pressure story that I would be writing for pure fun and escapism.
I hope you'll stick around and let me know your honest thoughts! I'm still in the planning stage, but once I decide to put something up, I'll let you know here! Oh, and if you are on Wattpad, you can find me HERE.
Hope you're all having a great start to your new year so far. ♥