How I got my writing mojo back

So, I was MIA for a while. Like, several months. It started with a general sense of malaise that quickly developed in a paralyzing depression and severe anxiety attacks, but that’s not actually what I want to talk about today because really I lost my writing mojo well before my PTSD made an aggressive comeback in terms of symptoms.

I don’t know when I stopped writing. I used to write constantly. Jotting bits of things down on any convenient surface that I could carry off with me. Running through character profiles and plot lines or blog and graphic ideas while I stocked things at work.

But sometime in the last year or so that stopped. I lost a huge part of myself, and somehow it just kind of slipped away with out my noticing. I have a theory, but again, not the point of this post.

How I lost my mojo is less important to me now than how I got it back.

Fanfiction.

That’s right. I said it.

Now, I’ve admitted before to reading Stargate: SG-1 fanfiction and writing it in high school. Well, my SG-1 obsession fell by the wayside again, and I was overcome by a new addiction which helped me cope with the nights of being up til 4 am because I was scared to sleep: Fairy Tail.

For those unfamiliar, Fairy Tail is a manga and anime series about wizards who work in guilds. It’s a  very lengthy story about friendship and family. And it has a vibrant and very active fanfiction community.

After finishing the 200+ episodes of the English-dub of the anime, I spent a good two months reading basically everything on fanfiction.net, and there is a lot of stuff with dozens of new stories being added daily.

Finally, after two months of reading so many stories that I began to have trouble telling what was canon for the anime and what was just established in the fanfics, I finally wrote something of my own. It was just a one-shot, maybe a couple thousand words.

Then I wrote another. Then I wrote a work of over 80,000 words. Then one of 20,000. I just finished another 80,000 word piece for CoLu (Cobra x Lucy) week (which happens to start tomorrow).

I picked up a new lingo. I know what ships and OTPs and broTPs and crackfics and lemons are. I know what things in a fic get read and what gets trashed.

I’m planning to do a longer blog post on why I think writers shouldn’t be ashamed of writing fanfics (and just to be clear, the success of 50 Shades of Gray is not one of those reasons). For now, I just wanted to post this little thing to say: I wrote two fanfiction novels in two months, and now I’m working on an original novel that I abandoned years ago.

I’m finally back to feeling like me, and it’s because of fanfiction.

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