So instead of my normal writing tips (or you know, directions into the chasm of utter destruction), I’m making a list for my own personal writing inspiration. Maybe my childhood self will inspire you. I’m putting my estimated age in parentheses. Wheeeeeee. And onward we go.
- Everything had to be FAIR. (3-16)
Like, excruciatingly fair. If I tapped my right thumb twice, I had to tap my left thumb twice. And then all my other fingers twice. And then I had to go on forever because each finger was upset it hadn’t been done last because the first shall be last so obviously being last was special.
- I felt guilty over the smallest things. (3-17)
If I scratched the desk I was probably going to hell. (Looking back on this, my anxiety is starting to make some sense.)
- I always ate the crust off my sandwiches first. (3-now)
Because my mom wouldn’t cut it off so I had to get it over with.
- I always ate the food I hated first. (3-now)
This goes along with the crust. I was gonna have to eat it eventually anyway. I think I used a Bible verse to back this up somehow. The side effect was that the good food got cold. (There are life lessons in these but I don’t know what they are.)
- I did long division in sidewalk chalk and thought it made me the coolest person ever. (8)
I distinctly remember showing off with this to two boys who were visiting their grandmother across the street. I think they mostly came to our house for popsicles and the trampoline, but my long division was something else.
- I told my little sister stories of what happened to the Disney princesses after the movies ended. (3?)
It’s my first recorded fanfiction! I actually don’t remember any of these stories and have no record of them because they were told completely out loud, but my sister remembers. So I’m trusting her.
- I also did this with TV shows like Arthur, Magic School Bus, and Backyardigans. (10-11)
This was during a very awkward period of my life where I wanted to do romances but I also was still into toilet humor. I actually do remember these stories and I wish I didn’t.
- I would make myself feel guilty for things I didn’t do, and make myself feel extremely sad over events that hadn’t happened. (10-11)
I remember my mom told me this wasn’t healthy, but I would imagine scenarios where I stole something from a store or where someone in my family suddenly died just to make myself feel these things. I think I was just ecstatic that I had discovered some emotional control? Maybe this is why I still write characters mired in guilt? Maybe I just have a problem.
- My first written stories were about kids going to public school and summer camp because I was salty that my parents wouldn’t let me attend these things. (7-8)
And that’s literally all they were about. I remember imagining this endless hallway stretching to infinity of just doors. I staggered them so the odd numbers were on the left and the even numbers were on the right. That was my concept of public school. I also would spend a lot of time designing posters and brochures on MS Publisher for the events I planned in these stories. I think they all got lost when our old computer crashed, which makes me extremely sad.
- I decided to be a complete tomboy for about a week. (7)
I’m actually not sure what brought this on as I had about an equal number of male friends and female friends at this time, but I decided I would (a) help my guy friends build traps in the sand for the other girls (we were kindergarteners, okay?), and (b) annoy my sister by making all my stuffed animals karate chop her stuffed animals. Probably because (a) one of my guy friends was my crush and (b) I could annoy my sister.
- While reading, I tuned out EVERYTHING. (5-now)
I mean…who is surprised at this? My parents would offer to buy me a dog or a snake if I looked up. I never looked up.
- I wanted a snake. (5-now)
I still want a snake. When I rent an apartment, I need to make sure the landlord is snake-friendly.
- I made my sister eat sap. (7-now. Just kidding)
This is my proudest sister moment. It was spring and a young tree was bleeding (leaking?) sap near the doctor’s office. I convinced my sister it would taste like syrup. She licked it. Now I wonder why she doesn’t trust me.
- I had a steady obsession with the apocalypse for several months. (12-13)
This was in my early teens. And I blame my church for this, but I was completely convinced the End Times were just a few seconds away. I had dreams (nightmares?) about the rapture. Then one day I asked Grace if she thought about this constantly and she was like, “No?” And my mind was blown.
- I would make my mom pretend to be fictional characters. (8-9)
Mostly Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Jo March from Little Women. Then I would do what I could to appall or embarrass these characters. (I still enjoy appalling and embarrassing my characters. Huh.)
- Then I pretended to be fictional characters. (10-11)
We did this first with hobbits and then with Harry Potter. I say “we” because my sister and brothers were usually involved. It was my first ever roleplaying experience. And I was always the dude. And the love interest. Because no one else wanted to do it. Being the oldest is hard, guys. And of course, the others did what they could to appall and embarrass me. How could they.
- I made a 12-inch mystery love note for my crush and expected it to fit in a 2-inch slot. (5)
My mom found it anyway before we went to co-op. I was so embarrassed. I said I wanted to ride horses with him. (I copied it off of Arthur, I think. This is how I learned not to plagiarise. This is also how I learned I hate geometry.)
- I built Jurassic Park. (12-13)
In Zoo Tycoon. I put the people in cages and watched them panic as the dinosaurs roamed free. I also made a rollercoaster park where people dove off huge diving boards and hit the concrete.
Now I’m curious if any of this was relatable. Was it?
Stay crazy, friends.