In my first post about writing, I mentioned that I started back up on a whim. I honestly did not expect to get as far as I have, but I'm so glad that I have!
Going back a few years, I was involved in my first (serious) MMORPG. I'd dabbled in some MMO's before, but they tended to be short-lived as I would get bored with them. This time was different. I had met a friend on a "castle building" MMO and we were hunting for a new game.
We came across Forsaken World and got sucked in pretty quick. I loved interacting with people on what felt like a more personal level because there were characters you associated with a person as well as having your own character running around doing whatever.
Now there's nothing wrong with gaming, and it does allow for a unique experience in terms of meeting so many people. I had a lot of fun with the game, but though it never touched my pocketbook, it was sucking my time.
I had started my own guild and we were doing well, having fun. But I needed to step back, so I did.
Shortly before this self-imposed break, one of my guildmates sent me a story she had written. It was comprised of her as each of the characters in the story. Or rather, she'd made each of her game characters into a character for her story.
I thought the idea was intriguing and randomly went, "Hey, it'd be fun to write a story where the characters are all based on people I've met on this game."
I had no more of a plan than that when I began what would become "Heart of the Winterland". scribbled out a quick idea, which went like this. "I'm going to have a princess and her invisible helper live in a kingdom that's always covered in snow. And they're going to go on a journey and meet people."
Yes . . . that was my grand idea. So I started writing somethings down, though still not very serious. I ended up getting involved in Forsaken World again. I really loved my friends there and at the time I could get a bit cagey at home.
I had quit my job, which was led me to game hunting in the first place. I found out 2 days later that I was pregnant so did not try to find a new job. This gave me 9 months of staying home and only seeing my husband after his combo work/school schedule. Not to mention all the college homework. After Cheyenne was born, I slowed down a bit, but there's only so much a baby can provide in terms of social interaction, especially since we were in a little apartment at the time.
So the game was my social outlet. When Cheyenne was 19 months old we moved and I stepped away from gaming cold turkey. Because we moved to a place where we couldn't get internet(so glad we can now!), I said goodbye to my group of friends(since we talked off-game as well).
After that, I refocused on my story, but at this point I started wondering if I could stick with it this time and finish.
I had been part of a writing site for several years and posted a few chapters of my work there. After awhile I got frustrated with the lack of response. It was nothing new for that site. I'd never seen many comments on anyone's work. But this time it bothered me. This time I wanted feedback. I started reaching out to people who were listed on the site as willing to "beta read". 30 people and not one response.
It was then that I decided that I wanted to shop around for a new place to post my work for feedback. I wanted constructive feedback, not just "this is good" or "this sucks". After doing some research I joined Scrib and posted what I'd written.
The difference was . . . wow. I got immediate feedback, and though there is a lot of networking that goes into finding exactly what you need out of the site, it was obvious from the start that it was worth it. It took some work and a lot of trial and error to find the right partners, but I eventually met so many people who were interested in my work, and me in theirs.
Having people reading and enjoying my work pushed me to keep going. I watched as my writing improved and I learned new things.
When it's all said and done, I have something to show from the time I poured into writing. I'm also able to fit it into my schedule and not have it take away time from my family. I'm learning and enjoying myself, and that's something I'll have even after I publish.
Winterland grew from 2 lines about a story I fully expected to drop shortly after beginning to a complete novel. I'm still not sure what happened LOL.