When no one knows you’re a writer

…because you haven’t updated your story in two years. So buckle in, here’s a story about how I wrote an online book series and what that has to do with anything.

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April 15th, 2017 will be exactly 10 years since I started posting my first original story online. I was sixteen years old and had transitioned from being a fan fiction writer (ho ho, bet you didn’t know that except the one person that did. Looking at you, Marisa) to an original story writer. I had stories of my own, had tried to write them ten thousand times, but hadn’t ever gotten further than a few chapters. They always die off and get regulated to sit in some folder on my desktop. And then one didn’t die off. Then one continued.

Before I was an artist, I wanted to be a writer. My family was full of artists so I figured that field was covered and since my plan to be a chef failed miserably when I realized I couldn’t cook worth a crap, I moved to writing. I always did good with short stories in school and had even been granted permission from some of my English teachers to work on my stories instead of writing prompt practice.

Finally years later I made the decision that I’d write my very own original stories and I’d put them on Fictionpress.com as you do. I loved monsters and action and romance and gore and horror and already had a world building in my head, I just needed characters to start.

And so I made Viola Huntington.

Because I was sixteen years old, I thought twenty-two was grown up enough for her (ugggggggggggggggggggggggggh) and started writing a story full of people imploding, the standard were-animals, vampires, witches, and then threw in some Greek mythology because, of course, it’s me, lots of fighting, a carnivorous forest. You know, standard stuff.

5 years later, 32 chapters, and 166,436 words later, I finished it. And though it does not age well now as an adult, it’s still there.

Then I decided to make it into a series because the stories and characters and world wasn’t done yet. And because I’m stupid and don’t know when to quit.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I got back seriously into art as I was starting the story. And….that took off too. I started doing art shows at school and then people contacted my art teacher to buy them and I discovered people might actually like my weird art.

Time passes and I try to keep up with writing and art and having a life and (briefly) college and having a full time job. Mind you, this was before all the stuff I’m doing now. If only I knew. There was a precarious balance but it was there, kinda.

But writing takes time and I got stuck. The updates to the sequel started taking longer and were further apart. I’d write something and months later want to hit my head because I had a new idea about the mythos but had already stated it was something else. Writing and publishing chapter by chapter is a hard and risky method. Once it’s out there for people to read, it’s out there. You can only change so much.

I wrote myself into a hole.

And then life happens in unexpected ways and personal crises popped up. I got involved in the art/geek/comic community and my ideas took off. I started doing conventions and galleries and putting my art more out there and thought “Hey, what if I made a tiny business out of my art” and that blew up.

Writing became this thing I only thought about. And I did. All the time. Just because you stop physically writing, you don’t get to turn off your brain and shove that part of it aside. I live with these characters every day. I know them inside and out and how they’ll react to pretty much every scenario. They’re there constantly.

April 2014 was the last day I updated the sequel. Two years ago. And I hate that it’s been that long because I have an amazing writing community. It’s a community that even though it’s been two long freaking years with radio silence still message or email or review or contact me to let me know what the stories mean to them, how they feel about it, but most of all hoping that I’m okay.

I get so so many messages and if anything, those are the reason why I haven’t let the story die. Because people want to read what I write and care about the characters like I do.

So to all those people, thanks. I love you. You mean the world and planets and universe to me. Because you were there first and are still there.

Even though I am probably also going to rewrite the entire first book privately, I’m going to continue the sequel online. Soon. Eventually. I’ll make time. I have big art plans but I’m adding big writing plans too. I have to earn that writer title on my banner after all.

If you want to, you can find my stories on Fictionpress.com under Raico. As much as I love my first book, Sweet Miseria, in a “wow you completed a thing” way, it didn’t age well. The first 10 or so chapters are very cringe-y. I’m sorry. But you can read them, not gonna stop you.

But until next time

-Sam <3

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