Hello! I am Michelle, also known as 221Btls on Archive of Our Own and Tumblr.
Just the fact that I am guest blogging is a direct example of why I love writing. It would be difficult to pull from each other the joys of my newest hobby/passion/obsession. The act of writing itself is such a wonderful release of creativity, an escape from ‘real life’ since it is not my occupation. But I had no idea there would be so many side benefits.
I’ve joined a very supportive community; never have I been a part of one so in tune with a preoccupation that has come to define me. I’ve met many new friends from all over the world, such as Rebecca (hi!), and I have the joy of integrating my travels into my stories, happily reliving my trips to England in my stories set in London. As other guest bloggers of Rebecca and Jordan, I am a fanfiction writer, so far writing only stories based on the BBC Sherlock series. They, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson have now traveled to Liverpool just as I have! I can see in my mind the settings where story events take place, making my stories more realistic, I hope.
I’ve been writing creatively for just under a year now. Almost every day I work on a story on my laptop, or when responsibilities get in the way, I am plotting my stories in my head. I now take for granted the place writing occupies in my life, but I remember well the almost immediate sense I had after starting that writing is who I AM, what I was meant to do with my life. I debate whether or not I will someday pursue being published, for the time being just enjoying the act of writing itself.
How many times in our lives have we heard the clichéd advice, ‘Write what you know’? Not especially creative, whenever I thought about writing creatively, that suggestion stopped me. I would not consider me or my life provocative enough to hold a reader’s attention for even a few sentences. But being able to bounce off an already created world has allowed me to use it as a template, sprinkling throughout my stories tidbits that are very personal. Whether trips or interests, one will find details of my life~ My love of the Beatles, whose songs inspire stories or merely title the ones I don’t have a title for. My love of London and Liverpool architecture. My favorite painting, Girl with a Red Hat by Vermeer, made an appearance in the chapter I just finished. In one story I even managed to work in the numbers of days until I was eligible for retirement!
I absolutely love that there’s a flow weaving between my life and my stories!
Of course, with Holmes and Watson being detectives there is quite a bit I need to research. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been worried I would get hauled away in handcuffs for the googling I do! I’ve had bombings in two stories so I’m wondering who might notice I’m looking up bomb-making ingredients! Knives, guns, surveillance equipment, terrorism, prison blue prints, the deterioration rate of corpses… Add these things up and I wouldn’t be surprised to be in the Homeland Security Top Ten! Not to mention here I am, putting it all together for them in one blog entry! Maybe I’ll have to find refuge in Canada! (I’m American)
Wow, now my juices are flowing again! All the talk of crime got me excited!
There is such an ebb and flow to writing that I adore. I don’t adore the times I am stuck, when I can’t figure out where I’m going with a plot. Puzzles are wonderful, but not puzzles without clues. I always have the endgame of the story in mind, but to create the events that get me there can often be frustrating. When a plot idea comes to me as clear as can be and I can’t wait to get it onto ‘paper’, well that right there is a reason for living.
Unlike real life, the highs of writing are always, always higher than the lows are low. I mean really, who can ask for more than that?
Thanks Michelle for this wonderful blog post, we had fun with this one, and we can't thank you enough-- Rebecca and Jordan