Stories you made as a child May 23, 2022 22:51:43 GMT -6
Post by ScintillaMyntan on May 23, 2022 22:51:43 GMT -6
Do you feel that your writing now is just a grown-up extension of your childhood imagination?
And what exactly makes stories seem like such hard work as an adult when it used to be so easy? Most kids are imaginative; it seemed effortless to just improvise stories, whether we were writing them, playing with toys, or acting them out with other kids.
For myself, I think the most interesting to reflect upon are the stories I wrote in middle school, so past the little-kid make-believe stage. My stories then combined various things I thought were cool at the time, aliens, forests, secrets. And they served emotional needs: approaching school life with humor and depicting friends who never actually have to worry about fitting in or whether their friends really like them.
I'm not sure what happened. I don't feel like my writing now is the same thing grown up. I more feel like I stopped writing, grew up, learned writing as a 'craft,' and started writing as a formal and weighty thing.
I do know where my childhood imagination went. It went towards a more straightforward way of coping. I found that instead of going home and writing fun stories about friends discovering secret passages and befriending aliens, I could distance myself from the reality of preteen life by directly daydreaming about impressing people right there in the classroom. I stopped caring about stories for a long time and pretty much just pursued writing in high school and university because I was clinging hard to this identity of a 'creative person.'
So why is writing hard now? For one I think I have in my mind this sense that writers don't actually write for the same kind of fun children have; they're either trying to create high art that'll get awards from stuffy academics, or some dumb commercially successful entertainment. I know that's probably not quite true, but I have that unflattering dichotomy in my head when I write and don't want to be either one. I'm also much more critical in general. I actually worry whether my story is good, which is obviously important, but it takes away from that childhood freedom that maybe allowed me to make some spontaneously decent-for-a-kid stories back then just out of intuition. And speaking for myself, the coping daydreams became a long-term bad habit I still have that has probably taken the place of my former creative impulse.