Content Warning

Greetings and Salutations.
Because my stories have bite, they can contain content that isn't suitable for work or children. Not a lot of truly graphic sex or violence, but there are some questionable or heated posts. F-bombs are not uncommon, so watch your footing.

Monday, April 25, 2022

How Final Fantasy XIV got me back into writing

 It's been a tough couple of years for everyone. I lost all sense of creativity, and certainly didn't have the ability - nor desire - to try to put anything out in the wold.

So I retreated, hid, and ignored. Of course I knew it wasn't healthy, but that didn't change how I felt.

Meanwhile, I'd seen my stepbrother playing FFXIV. I like pretty anime boys, so I was intrigued, but after all the betrayal from WoW, I wasn't sure I wanted to get into a new MMO. Was I ready to be social? Did I have it in my to play a new game?

On Halloween '21, I decided to give it a go, and immediately fell in love.

I'm not here to extol the virtues of the game, other than in how it brought me out of my funk.

The graphics are gorgeous, and the mechanics/gameplay are easy enough, but it was the depth of writing that got to me. Humor, tragedy, love, subtext, complexity; it was all there. And it only got better as the game progressed. I cried, I laughed, I fell in love, and I wanted more.

I envied the writers who got to have fun, who got to be involved with the entire project. Even small sidequests could have surprising emotions attached, and I missed doing that myself. I missed creating worlds and characters and stories.

And I actually began to roleplay my character. I cared about how he would react, and thought about what he would do in these situations, and who he would fall in love with. Sahzsha became more than just a sexy
toon on my screen; he became a character in my stories.

Not that I was ready to write yet. I've always preferred to share with an audience, not just jot down stories for myself. I mean, I know how it's going to end, so why bother? Didn't mean I wasn't working out the scenarios in my head. Creating dialogue, plotting the scene, figuring out the descriptors.

I kept toying with the idea of writing - especially when Shadowbringers and Endwalker absolutely ripped my heart out. I wanted to process through words, create what Sahzsha needed in order to heal. I talked about doing that in my Free Company, and a rally of support came my way.

So I did it. Not the catharsis and healing, but I wrote a spicy fanfic for someone else and shared it and was lauded and I felt good.

I've since joined a fanfiction site and Discord, and am working on more stories. It's much easier to work with already created characters and worlds (which sometimes feel close enough to ones I would have created anyway), and there's already a fanbase to share my words with. I get to create and share my (twisted) perspective, and actually reach an audience. Which is mostly what I wanted in the first place, so it keeps me happy and not at all bitter about how my hard work wasn't getting me readers before.

Will I keep writing FFXIV fanfics? Oh yeah, for the foreseeable future.

Will I also make more cross stitch patterns? You bet.

Am I going to write original charaacters/fiction? Maybe. Not quite at that stage yet. But I do have a fantasy romance novel I'd started that was entering Act 3 and could use the conclusion.

Am I going to stress about marketing? Fuck no. I'm pretty much done with that. Far too old, bitter, and introverted to keep putting myself out there like that. I'll just focus on being content with my little tales and see what happens from there.

....but if anyone wants to take over that icky aspect, I won't complain ;)