Yes, this had been making me wonder for a while. It might be RP-related, but not only, because it applies to all realms of my life.
There are so many people who are enthusiastic for a few moments, then they are losing interest in whatever they liked before and find something else shinier.
Am I the strange one that I add new interests to the existing ones, instead of replacing them? (And also, in another context, am I the strange one for always sticking to my promise, even if it hinders me sometimes?)
I am interested in Age of Sail since I was 5 and my mother used to read to me a certain newly appeared book (which later I had read so many times that I almost learnt it by heart – and I don;t give you the title only because it is of a national author who I don’t think anybody translated into English). And the first story featuring Marina and her brother was written when I was around 10, I think.
About the same age I got an interest in Native Americans – this time, my mother was reading to me Longfellow’s “Hiawatha” retold for children. I keep the attraction for Wild West until now, and the first Wild West story I had written was when I was 11 or 12. At 12-13, I wrote already a Western “novel”, as big as two full copybooks and about 7-8 chapters… (Don’t laugh! I still keep it, even if it is nothing worth literarily!)
Every time I got a new interest, it added to the old ones, it hadn’t replaced it. And I had plenty… Usually my interest is either in a certain genre of books, or in a national culture (sparked by songs or movies, and then getting to research, to read extensively, etc.).
So, I discovered Spain at 10, then at 12 Latin America, followed by Italy (and especially Venetian Middle Age culture) when I was 13, then Greece… Indian culture, Viking, Arabic and Jewish cultures came next. Precolombian America’s in between, at about 11-12 too. I think the latest were the Japanese and Jewish one.
And about writing, I had for my stories either settings, or characters belonging to these various cultures.
I am not writing it to brag about my achievements, but to wonder if it’s me the one who has something wrong for being like this, when most others I saw… simply aren’t.
I mean, I know enough people who leave a story or a genre for having “lost interest”. Well, if you have lost interest in a story, come with a plot you would like to write about! It is not as difficult in an environment open to everybody’s suggestions. I had co-administrators who left after 2-3 months for having lost interest. And it is generally said that staff should be an example for the members.
All these, in the conditions when there is always something to be writing about, a new twist to be added… it takes only a little initiative and the desire to get involved.
I feel like the strangest exhibit in the window every time I read certain posts on a resource site. As if I am the oddest being among the others…. who think in a hivemind. And I am still trying in vain to find a writing buddy to match my way of seeing things. It is impossible to be the only one, since my opinions weren’t created in a void, but after reading enough creative writing articles from various writers.
It is impossible to not find somebody who is also story-oriented, who loves discussing plots and characters alike, who sees challenging himself not as stressful, but as the natural way to evolve as a writer, somebody who isn;t flimsy, but dedicated to finish a story once started… They should be somewhere in the mist, but how can I meet them and let the mist courtain fall?
Is everybody saying “just a hobby” as if a hobby shouldn’t involve the desire to evolve, to improve, to meet the same standards and rules of creative writing and to integrate in a collectivity, be it a virtual one? (And of courtesy too, since we are not writing alone, but with others, so we should be more accomodating and less selfish).
Also, for me, challenging myself is not stressful, but inspiring, mobilizing me to achieve something. I need challenges to overcome. It just means a goal more to strive for, ie an achievement more after a while. The satisfaction of having overcome a challenge and to have learnt something new.
(Exactly how some people have found that having a deadline is stressful and determines procrastination. By contrary, for me setting myself deadlines if nobody else does gives me structure and direction. If I know x thing has to be ready in x days, I know how to plan to make it possible and I avoid procrastination, while if it should be ready “whenever you have time”, it is too vague and I might procrastinate to never make time for it…)
I am setting myself goal after goal, challenge after challenge to overcome. I think, for the analogy with video games (which I don’t play) it is… unlocking a next level. This comes with the satisfaction of having won – but having won against a computer is nothing vs. having won against yourself. The satisfaction is much more. If I like something, I do it with pleasure and I strive to be better at it. Researching and learning more about creative writing, practicing, experimenting and challenging myself are part of the fun of having writing as my main hobby.
The fact that I like writing and I like immersing myself in other centuries and countries, with their adventures, doesn’t necessary mean that I want to escape my life and this is why I am writing. I like returning to my regular life, even if it has a different kind of challenges (which I don’t necessary like, because I don’t like everything I have to do in my daily life). I am writing because I can’t live without writing. And I like to have the readers immersed in the environment and adventures I am describing.
Still… there aren’t any people like me, and everybody looks at me as if I am the oddest being, totally different from them. Really, am I? Have the others like me just vanished, and only published writers, famous in their circles, have remained to share these opinions and characteristics