2016 has been a year of rediscovering my creativity. It’s started out simply enough with the blog, something of which is still very much so a work in progress. As with many things in life, the process has been gradual as I try to find a balance between my real life obligations and my geeky exploits, meaning it doesn’t help when a blog topic strikes me in the middle of the day at the office! Nevertheless, this resurgence of personal creativity continues to grow and evolve.
One of the best things to come from all of this has been the confidence that I’ve gained. The confidence to put myself out there, to share my thoughts and feelings with whomever wants to hear them or happens to come across them. That is not an easy thing to do and it is something that I have always had much trepidation for.
Mostly recently, this creative spark, bolstered by new found confidence, has erupted into something that I’ve wanted to do for years, something that I’ve played around with from time to time but never saw to fruition…
You see, for as long as I can remember, words have been a constant in my life. From discovering my love of reading when I was young, to finding solace in books as an awkward and shy teenager, then to understanding the true value of the written word as an adult. Words have always been a tremendous part of my life.
This holds true for my geeky passions as well. I can fondly remember reading Sailor Moon fanfiction in middle school long before I really even knew that’s what it was called. Then came the Harry Potter fanfiction that consumed many of my high school nights. Let’s just say my parents didn’t have to worry much about what I was up to in those years. To this day I joke about them finding me on the computer at 3, 4:00 in the morning and asking me what I was still doing up; the simple response was always “reading”. I could have had worse obsessions or habits! But from then on, whenever I discovered a new show or fandom, after I got comfortable enough I would hope online and check out the fanfics. Sure, the time spent doing that has diminished over the years, but I have never truly stopped.
My love for reading naturally led to a love of writing. Research papers were something I excelled at in college; give me a 20 page paper over an art project any day. Creative writing was something I enjoyed but never seriously committed to. However, the process of writing, especially fiction, is something that has always fascinated me. Writers are some of the people I admire most in the world: the imagination and cleverness needed to create a whole world, the finesse needed to bring one-dimensional words to life, the commitment to draft and edit and redraft to near perfection, it is simply astounding. But in no way, shape, or form would I ever even try to get to their level or consider myself to be one of them. But what I can do is imitate. After all, imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
Because one of the things that I’ve realized over the few years is that fanfiction and fanart, are some of the biggest acts of admiration expressed in fandom. What you are doing is saying that you love something so much that you are trying to create your own little piece of it. And there is nothing to be ashamed of. As with anything, some people can take it to a weird place, but the majority of those who create fan related works of art do so from a place of goodness. It’s also not for everyone, and that is fine as well. That is what is so very wonderful about fandom, there are countless ways that we can express our individualities and personalities while celebrating the things we love.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, with a creative surge and confidence boost, I recently did something that I thought I would never do. I wrote out a story, was happy with it, and actually posted it. And people are reading it! And liking it! Sure it’s not making waves; I never expected it to. Actually, I’d probably die of surprise if that happened. But the fact that people have come across it and apparently enjoyed it gives me joy and inspiration to write more.
I’m going to ride this wave for as long as I can, because every time I achieve a bit of creative fulfillment, I experience a sense of relief and contentment. Bit by bit, piece by piece, I get ever closer to true nirvana, to living the geek life that I’m meant to be, to the fullest.
What’s your opinion on fanfiction and fanart? Do you use either of those means to express your creativity?