I am jealous of certain writers.
JK Rowling and JRR Tolkien pop to mind. Not because of the usual reasons, or well the reasons one would assume (ie fame and popularity), but rather because these two authors, in particular, created a world in which they lived in… in which they wanted to live in.
Most people know the story of Tolkien, but just in case it’s something new to you, Tolkien was a language genius. He loved to study language and did it obsessively. He especially enjoyed learning the Nordic language and fell in love with Welsh the first time that he heard it.
This obsession allowed him to understand the concepts of language; the building blocks used in languages to… almost universally… create meaning. This understanding, then, led to him creating his own language, slowly building it, piece by piece. Eventually, he got to the point where he had the language, yet had no utilization for it.
The language needed a mythology.
And thus, Middle Earth was born.
More people know the story of Rowling; how she was on her way home via train when the story of Harry came to her like a flash of lightening (haha!). She has since let the public peek into this world, and even discounting the bits that she has let out, one can tell that the world is much more extensive and detailed than what anyone would need to write a story.
It was her world. Her playground.
And this is what I am jealous of.
These worlds in which the authors are fully immersed. In which they “play.”
There is so much focus on what sells, or could sell. And it is what it is… I am not advocating for change. Seriously. When there is a monopoly in the publishing industry, of course there is formulaic writing, or writing that is done just to sell (interesting story about Sparks in this vein).
I do, however, find it sad. Sad that writers are so focused on the business of writing (not all, but a good amount) that they lose the magic that comes with world building… that comes with playing.
This includes me.
I am not a famous writer (obviously, ha!), but I do write for a living and that writing follows very clear guidelines with very little flexibility. Again, “it is what it is,” but is so much the case that even when I want to create a world to “play in,” I find it almost impossible… no, I do find it impossible… to, well, have fun.
I want to create a world in which I am eager to return again and again. I am very familiar with the aspect that writing is work, including writing novels or other versions of fiction; however, I want to explore the idea that writing can be something enjoyable… at least, some of the time.
How to get past this blockage?
Because it is a blockage. A weird blockage that is something like writer’s block but not really. Basically, somewhere along the lines I forgot what it meant to have fun writing.
What about you dear readers? Do you write because it’s your job? Or do you have fun with it? Play around, throw sand, and swing so high that you can almost touch the sky?