Hiding my face in a paper bag

I have this thing where whenever someone I don’t know tries to talk to me, I feel the irresistible urge to run away. To hide my face in a paper bag and never see them again.

It’s not that I hate people. I love people. I love human interaction. I think I’m a people person.

It’s just … I’m terrified. Terrified of people. Terrified of not being good enough. Terrified of being boring, annoying, or offensive and driving people away. I’m terrified and incredibly intimidated of people.

In real life, I can’t run away. I mean, I suppose I could in the literal sense but that would be a little bit awkward … But even so, I can’t completely avoid people. I go to school and see the same classmates every week so I’m forced to somehow endure the terror of social interaction and eventually I become friends with these people and it’s not so scary anymore.

But it’s different online. When the interaction is online, running away becomes a plausible and quite tempting option.

I don’t have the greatest online track record.

I abandoned my old blog without a single warning … Just disappeared from the blogosphere.

I abruptly stopped emailing my penpal even though she’s been there for me when I needed her and we had gotten quite close at one period.

I started a business of Fiverr and forgot all about it. When two people bought my service and gave bad reviews because I forgot to deliver, I put my account on hold and vowed never to use it again.

When people talked to me on Twitter or I tagged people, I logged out of my account for three months.

When I comment on people’s blogs, I don’t always check for replies especially if I said something heartfelt or particularly meaningful to me.

Sometimes I do things online that I later regret or I write about something controversial or extremely personal. And that’s usually … relatively ok, because it’s online. I can just abandon my account, or blog, or whatever platform. I do post pictures of myself sometimes, but I have an alias, and separate social media linked with my pen name.

This time around, it’s a little bit different. I linked my personal social media to this blog, for instance. Should I have? I don’t know. To be honest, the main reason I linked the accounts was so I could have those pretty icons on my sidebar, and I didn’t want to start separate accounts for my writing persona because it’s just too much haste and too hard to maintain. And that’s a legit reason. I also used my own email for my blog.

If I ever want to abandon this blog, I could just transfer my email account so I can start a new one, but again it’s a lot of hassle. And if I begin mixing the lines between personal social media and the blogosphere, it’s going to be harder to hide.

But I mean, I’m scared. Chances are, I’m going to do something I regret and wish I could change my name, wear a paper bag on my head, and move to a different planet rather than face up to it. And I guess the truth is, online relationships don’t matter all that much to me. That does make me sound cold, I know. I guess it just doesn’t feel as important as my IRL relationships so it always gets put on the back burner and I end up abandoning online friends and personas because I don’t care enough. That does make me feel like a terrible person.

I don’t even know what my point is … I guess it’s just to say that it’s nice being anonymous and having a blog where nobody reads what you write, and nobody comments … At the same time, I do like interacting with people online. I’m just not sure how far I’m willing to go with it. And I don’t want to end up being rude and yes, I’m terrified of driving anybody away.

But I guess I’ll try … try to be a bit more brave and run away less.

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A summary of my novels (and how it’s all sorta worked out)

(Whew! That was a long post and I have terrible keyboard connection so this post isn’t quite as polished as it could be but I’m going to publish it anyway because it’s getting late and I still have a novel to write. If you’d like to know more about one of my stories, do leave a comment! I’m planning on writing separate posts for the more prominent of my stories.)  

It’s true, I haven’t always had a great relationship with writing. Yes, I have despaired more than a few times over a story. I’ve given up on writing as a serious hobby. I’ve abandoned my blogs and abandoned waaaaay too many manuscripts. I’ve started too many blogs, to abandon them and eventually start another, repeating the process. I’ve gone on long hiatuses from publishing any writing, had a moment of inspiration, then disappeared from the writing world again. 

But in the end, I would say it’s been pretty good. Yesterday, I decided to calculate the number of finished manuscripts I’ve written over my whole life and the number of unfinished novels, out of curiosity and so I can announce to strangers exactly how many novels I’ve written when they ask me about my hobbies. It turns out I’ve written –

3 Completed Full Length Novels

-Ten Teens (November 2013) ~50,000 [My sisters drew 10 different characters and I managed to shoehorn all of them into the narrative. It was my first attempt at Nano and I handwrote the entire manuscript too. I also let my brother read it as I wrote. When you think about it, this novel was actually kind of amazing in terms of the writing journey I went through to complete it.]

– Bloody Daggers (July 2015) ~51,000 [This was for Camp Nano and is one of the many evolutions of my fantasy story. This one is very different from the current evolution of that story so I think it’s more fitting to consider it an entirely different novel now. …In future,  as this is the first completed novel I still have a copy of, I can use this as an example of my early writing.]

– Happy Medium (July 2015) ~42,000 [This is another Camp novel – yay for Camp nano! It’s too short for a novel but I’ll definitely bulk it up in edits. I’m actually really proud of this novel. For a first draft, I think it’s kind of decent. A girl tries to matchmake all the students in her class but they end up pairing up very differently … The novel evolved into quite a wider story and the matchmaking part ended up being quite small, though.]

4 Completed Novellas 

– Life on a Mannarerr Farm, Four Years (~2009?) ~20,000? [These were two “novels” (well, I thought they were novels) about a family living on a farm in nineteenth century America. I was really interested in American history during the time so that accounts for the time period (and I was inspired by Little Women). I was about 11 when I wrote these and I’m no child prodigy … but these were my first successful novel attempts and started me off writing seriously so I won’t hate on them too much. 

– Mackenzie (early 2013)  ~10,000 [I’m not sure what inspired me to write this story … it’s about a girl in Canada whose mother dies. She fends for herself and her little sister until a woman finds them and adopts them.]

– Loche’s Adventure (April, 2014) ~20,000 [This was one of the earlier evolutions of my fantasy story. It involved portal travel, war, magic, and basically way too much for 20,000 words. What I wrote is a bit more like a very lengthly plot summary …]

16+ Unfinished Novels (in approximate order of the dates they were written)

– Connelle (A handicapped girl wants to become a swimmer and compete in the Olympics.)

– Peace on the Horizon (Set during the Spanish Civil War, a young man is afraid of fighting in the war while his cousin is a communist spy and his friend adopts a Russian refugee and attempts to make her a violinist. As weird as it sounds, I actually think it has potential with proper research.)

– Magnus fantasy story … (This was the earliest version of the fantasy story, and centered around a boy named Magnus who was groomed to be a murderer and a brutal king who would slaughter a race of magical humans, making them almost extinct, and start a war.)

– Stephen Farrar (A man brings life and faith to a town of deadbeats and backstabbers.  On hindsight, that novel was so preachy it’s cringeworthy. It also involved a forced romance. The only saving grace was the twins Leslie and Lillian, who I’m determined to work into some other novel one day.)

– Iris Texier (Basically a ripoff of Emily of New Moon …)

– Button City (After his parents’ deaths and the inheritance of a large fortune, Cyrus White leaves his home and job as a lawyer to find meaning in life. He stumbles upon the strangest city ever. I do want to write this novel.)

– Eleazar’s story (It’s about a man who commits a murder during an armed robbery  and struggles to put his life back together after that. He comes to fall in love with a girl, Lucy, but obviously he feels he can’t pollute her life with his presence. I LOVE the character of Eleazar and I love his bromance with a homeless guy, Mick, and how he befriends Lucy’s siblings and becomes like a father to them.) 

– Sibling saga (It’s about the lives of five different siblings from an extremely dysfunctional family. I only got around to writing the first part about the oldest sibling but I’ve transported many of the characters into my dystopian story since this novel was kind of lacking a plot.)

– Winteria (This fantasy story began as a story for a blogging tag. I ended up rather liking my character of the Summer Prince and decided the story had potential as a novel. While most of my stories are more suited to a teen or adult audience, this novel is more MG.)

– Dystopian story (It focuses on the forming of a dystopian society and how the people who helped make the government happen react once the dystopian government comes into power. It features characters from my sibling saga and Ten Teens.]

-Irish mythology fantasy (It’s basically  a fantasy inspired by Irish mythology. I tried to incorporate a curse, portal travel, and  other  strange elements but it didn’t quite work out … I  settled  on something simpler, with vampires, fae, mermaids, and giants. It still was simply too overwhelming a world and story that I abandoned it.)

– Grey Wars (The next evolution of The Fantasy Story … The various drafts mixed and matched together would probably amount to a full novel but I never could make it to the finishline due to the enormous plotholes.)

– World Warriors (A shapeshifter kidnaps a bunch of teens to help him save the world. I honestly love this story and it’s a blast to write. I gave it up because I had no idea the logistics of how they would actually save the world. I’d love to rewrite it, though. I think I’ll make the teens transform into superheroes … probably because that would solve the question of how to save the world and because I’m more than a little obsessed with Marvel superheroes at the moment …)

– I Crashed My Friends (A teenager kills his friends in a car crash and suffers from the guilt and reconciling with his friends’ parents.)

– Alex + Brittany (I decided to try my hand at a romance – the result? Mixed. It definitely needed more conflict and more of a plot, but I don’t think it was TOO bad.)

– Stranger Boyfriend (After Michelle breaks up with her boyfriend,  she decides to console herself by finding another guy for revenge. She picks up a random guy at a bar and … chaos ensues.)

****

So basically … yeah, I have too many unfinished manuscripts. Sometimes that was due to plot holes and weak premises but mostly I was just too lazy to keep on writing. But it’s not a terrible track record.  After all, somehow I managed to finish three novels! Not everybody can do that nor does everybody have the craziness to attempt it. Yes, chances are in a few weeks from now, I’ll be writing a post about how as much as I love it, I don’t love writing enough to keep it up consistently …

I guess I just want to make a tribute to writing and my writing journey. I don’t always enjoy writing, it’s true … but somehow I keep coming back to it. 

Some thoughts:

– While I could have been more prolific, I’ve come a long way since the beginning. Over the years and observing the differences in my stories, you can also see how different I was in various stages of my life. 

-Whenever I complete some piece of writing, or reread a completed story, there’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

-I have so MANY different story ideas. It’s awesome and kind of overwhelming and makes me wish I was immortal so I can write all these stories and more. 

-Ah writing …writing has always been there for me. It’s comforted me when I was upset and helped me to sort out my thoughts when I was confused. It’s freed me when I felt trapped, and enabled me to live a hundred lives in one. Life would have been infinitely sadder without writing and I am incredibly grateful that writing exists, that I discovered writing, and that I was given the opportunity to create stories and record them. I’m proud of my writing journey so far and I’m extrememly excited for what lies ahead, as cliched an ending as that is! 

Shameless self promotion – Guys, I have a Wattpad!

  
My moniker is @downtownsong or you can just click here since it’s easier (no judgment, I totally would). 

I have random short stories and poems published, some of them pretty weird (e.g. transparent affection …). I’m hoping to get a novel up someday but we’ll see about that!