My fanfiction journey

fanfiction3Today I’m kicking off a series of blog posts about the benefit of writing fanfiction. I have some amazing guest bloggers coming over the next month to share their experiences and thoughts on the matter. But before they do, I wanted to share with you my fanfiction journey.

I’ve been a published author for nearly ten years. My first novel was published in 2011, kicking off a four book series that I would complete in 2017. When the final book dropped in December of that year, I didn’t realize how much of an emotional drain it would be on me. Those books, that world…that character…had been a part of my life for more than just the eight years it took to publish the books, but an additional three years before that as I wrote and polished that first one. If you invest in anything for over a decade, you will invest in it emotionally.

I found myself, a month after releasing the final book, asking the question of if I even wanted to move on to something else. I had a void now that I didn’t think I could fill with anything else. After a few months of back and forth, writer friends of mine encouraging me to keep going, and me increasingly getting frustrated at myself for not wanting to, I finally made a decision.

I decided on an experiment. I would spend some time writing a story fast, ugly, with no pressure to perform, no editing to worry with, no publisher to please, no audience expectation…something that was to be purely fun. If doing that couldn’t rekindle my love of writing, then I would know it was time to quit.

That’s how I decided to write Legend of Zelda fanfiction. Legend of Zelda is my favorite video game, after all. I knew the stories better than any other fictional franchise available. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a beautiful world already built. I had read about a fan theory that gave me a great premise for a story. So without any expectations, any fans, or any preconceptions out there of what this might turn into…I began.

Do you know what I found? I still enjoyed writing and I still have more stories to write. I hammered out Season 1 of my fanfiction during the summer last year, having a blast doing it. And while I was working on an outline for my next novel, that fanfiction won a Watty award. I don’t exaggerate when I say my Legend of Zelda fanfiction became the only LoZ fanfiction to ever win an award on Wattpad.

Then I got stuck on that outline. So you know what I did next? I wrote Season 2! Season 2 just wrapped up and I think I’m ready to write my next novel now – a year after almost quitting.

So what did writing fanfiction do for me? The low pressure environment allowed me to find the joy in writing again. It was (and is) immensely therapeutic. So essentially, fanfiction saved my writing career. Not only that, but it has inspired me to rededicate myself to building my writing career into something that could become full-time.

That’s my fanfiction journey. Now that you’ve read it, you totally want to read this award-winning Legend of Zelda fan-fiction, don’t you? Easy enough. Click here.

-odk

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