As an adult, my imagination is something that I miss the most from childhood. As a kid, I could spend hours and hours pretending to be one of Robin Hood’s merry men, reinacting scenes from a favorite horse-related movie with my mixed-pedigree plastic ponies, or using Tonka toys to farm the disused flower bed.
But then I grew up.
Between work and school, I had no time for imagining. I would use books as an escape from the real world, but it never would take hold like it use to when I was younger. I found myself yearning for something different, to be something different.
It took awhile before I realized what was absent from my mind. Those hours I spent creating other worlds inside my head as I ran along the creek or hunched cross-legged on the floor in my bedroom were hours I lived for. There were so many things to discover and bad guys to fight that I never found myself becoming bored. I was a badass buttkicker in my head before I even knew what feeling like a badass was really about.
Transitioning into adulthood, a lot of that got left behind. I needed to buck up and put my nose to the grindstone, so to speak; there was no time for playing at pretend when there’s work and schooling to be done.
It wasn’t until a few years ago (after joining Tumblr, of all things) that I realized I could still play pretend. After reading through a LOT of blogs, I knew what I had to do in order to keep my imagination alive.
I began to write fanfiction.
Not great fanfiction, mind you; it was more of just something that filled a void, a way to spend time in my imagination. And the more I wrote and posted this fanfiction, the more my inner-self became colorful and exciting. No longer was I just going through the routines of daily existence, but I was fulfilled.
(Yes, I know all of the jokes one could make about a woman writing fanfiction, but you know what? I don’t give a fuck, I like writing fanfiction)
Fast-forward to now, and I’m still writing. Granted, it’s not as often as I’d like, but every little bit that I can do is better than nothing at all. The fics I’m working on right now may not be published on Ao3 or Tumblr anytime soon, but I’m not in it for the likes or shares or comments (although those are VERY appreciated; always thank the creators in some way, it makes us happy, and happy creators make more content for you to enjoy). I’m into writing fanfiction because it makes me feel good. I write to play at pretend again, to live a little inside my slowly awakening imagination. Also, it makes me feel like a badass.
My challenge for you this week is to write some fanfiction of your own. Is there a favorite tv show or movie that you can’t stop thinking about? Is there a book with a broken spine from all of the times you’ve read it? Is there an illustration or piece of art that really gets your mind reeling? Write something about that world. Make it two sentences, or make it 15 pages. You will be surprised at how fun it can be.