I love writing. I have for a long time. Before, it was all the social interaction I ever needed, which is how I survived high school.
Then I shared my writing with the man who would become my husband and father to our children. He thought I was good enough to publish. I had no internet for many years, so he was the only one who read my stuff. I discovered the joy of geeking out on my creation with someone, talking about it, hypothesizing what would happen next. Between all the real world, responsible adult things I had to do, I tried to get writing done and tried submitting it to publishers.
Of course, funds were tight, and submission was not free. Had to make copies, had to buy postage and envelopes and ink for the printer. I couldn’t submit much, and always, they were rejected with form letters. So I didn’t know where I needed to improve. My husband, though. He has always been my cheerleader.
Then I discovered text-based roleplaying games. These are like collaborative writing in a shared universe. I gave fifteen or more years to these, because I could geek out with others on our shared creation. I had to quit eventually, because these worlds were not mine to keep. I used to think that those I shared this time with would be there when I struck out on my own… but no. A few bought a copy of the first book. I don’t know that it had ever been read by any but a few, and even then, apparently not exciting enough to geek out over with anyone else.
I wish I could go back in time, where writing was a solitary joy for me. When I could write just for me, and be happy to be alone. But it isn’t. I want so much for someone to think my worlds were wonderful and talk to me. I want someone to want to know why about this, and what about that. I would adore someone artistically inclined to make fan art of my characters. I want to feel like I’m someone worth knowing through the lens of my imagination.
But I’m not. I’m still alone. And sometimes, loneliness hurts.