Gosh! This one was way harder than it should be. 😀
I mean, I do kind of have hobbies. I read, write, listen to music, go walking, watch movies, watch rugby games, enjoy baking… but they’re pretty normal things to do. I used to collect stamps and coins, but gave them up loooong ago ( my brother now collects coins though! :)) Sports aren’t really my thing, I’m far too uncordinated for them – although, I did used to really like volleyball.
But… a hobby. Something that I regularly do for pleasure in my leisure time, so Wikipedia tells me.
The most obvious thing – and one of the only things I could think of, aside from wasting time on the internet – was writing fanfiction.
Now, before you all start groaning at the thought… let me explain 🙂
My involvement with fanfic began way back when I was in my first year of high school – so, 13 years old! Back then, I was into the Harry Potter fandom. It’s rather hilarious when I re-read the journals I used to keep at that age – according to my journal, reading fanfic gave me “enjoyment, and ideas”. Uh huh… not exactly the biggest revelation in history 😉 I was into the normal ships, Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione. Crazy to think of now, of course… heheee, but it seemed like a natural step from the original stories.
It was during this time that I started writing my own fanfiction too. I would absolutely cringe if I were to read THOSE again – they were terribly cliched, and short, and… just. BAD. I mean, the title of my first one: “Daybreak Duo”. *awkward cough* Lovely alliteration… heh.
But anyway, I do remember having a wee trouble over my budding fanfiction addiction – because back then, I didn’t have my own laptop, so had to use the family computer. So, of course, my Mum found out what I was doing – and I remember her saying “I’m not paying for internet just for you to read stories!!” Hahaaa. This makes me feel so old. 😀 I also got into trouble for trying to get into “Mature” rated stories – I was completely innocent at 13, you know, so I had no idea what it would even entail 😉 (*cough* Different story now…) Luckily I didn’t corrupt myself that early on, so went back to reading nice fluffy stories about Harry and Ginny declaring their undying love for each other… *shakes head*
But yes, so it wasn’t until I was 14, or nearly 15, that I really started writing fanfic, properly. It was then that I discovered my ‘true’ calling, as it were, in Harry/Draco fanfic. I’ve almost given up trying to defend this pairing to people, especially my fellow die-hard Harry Potter friends. I just like it, deal with it! 😀 I also turned my eyes to Remus/Sirius, which is brilliant because it is – I believe – a LOT more likely to be canon… 😉 Gasp, the horror! But honestly, what a delicious couple.
And, when I was 15, I started my major break-through as a fanfic writer – my first chaptered story – called ‘Not A Malfoy Anymore‘. It was – and in a way, still is – my most successful/popular piece of fanfic. Most hits (currently 200,000+) and most reviews (currently 400+). And most chapters (23) and words (86,210). However, when I look back on it now, I can’t help but cringe!! I guess it’s encouraging to see that during the story – which I began in June ’05, and finished in April ’08, so it took me nearly three years to write!! – that I do improve and progress as a writer. The beginning chapters are AWFUL to me now, but by the ending, I think it’s safe to say that I’m getting better. If I’m allowed to say that about my own fic! 😛 This is one of the reasons why I think that fanfiction has truly changed me, in helping me to write something at all, and therefore helping me to get better!
Practice makes perfect, after all. (And yes, I’m still practicing ;))
So, I finished that during my last year of high school, but by this time, I was writing less and less fanfic. The main reasons for that were because I was studying a lot, to get good grades to get into university… but also because the Harry Potter fandom was dying, just very slightly – in comparison to when I’d first entered it, that is. So there was less compulsion for me to write fanfic.
My first year of university was a complete fail when it came to writing. I was busy… experiencing everything – living away from home for the first time, making a bajillion new friends – I had no time for writing. Plus, the Harry Potter fandom was incredibly dead now, in regards to my pairings and interests anyway. Why should I keep on writing fanfic?
Another year of uni started – a much less social year, I screwed my head on properly – and along came Torchwood.
Oh! It was marvellous. I devoured the series in a matter of a week or two. I watched, and rewatched. And then I went fanfic hunting, and liked what I read.
I watched some more.
And then, I was ready to write my own fanfic. That’s one thing that I’ve always felt it quite important, to me. In writing fanfic, I always try to be as faithful and as true to the actual characters as I can, no matter how much I’m actually changing the plots and situations of the original series. You have to get the character right. Which is why I spent so much time studying the series. Anyway, obviously my interests lay in Jack/Ianto – although, of course, I just adore Tosh, and Owen, and don’t worry, I’m not a Gwen hater either! 🙂 My first Torchwood fic, ‘Need You Now‘ was a two part fic, inspired by Lady Antebellum’s song. I was absolutely bowled over by the fantastic response to it, particularly considering that it IS only a two part thing, not with many chapters. I think it’s still my most ‘popular’ Torchwood fanfic, if you’re working out the average reviews per chapter. Crazy stuff!
With such a delightful entrance into the Torchwood fandom, how could I not keep going? Since then, I’ve written the most fanfic I’ve ever written, consistently, regularly. Which still isn’t as much as some people – but I really can’t spare the time to make it a full-time job.
Hence, the hobby 😉
My longest Torchwood fic is currently my musical, ‘Torchwood: A Musical!‘ which I am completely surprised that people actually read!! I wrote it for Script Frenzy this year, which was HEAPS of fun, and I’m actually still in the process of writing it now – it’s not finished yet! (gosh, I better get onto that…!) It’s at 24,758 words so far, but as it’s a script, not prose, it’s not really going to be an epic 100,000+ word project.
So, that brings me to where I’m sitting now. I still occasionally go back and re-read old Harry Potter fanfic favourites, as my recent Fanfic post indicates. I am obviously comfortable in the Torchwood fandom, still writing and reading.
I feel like I’m almost on the cusp of a new stage in my affair with fanfiction. Lately, I’ve been really getting into the Sherlock fandom. I’ve been finding more fics to read, and watching the series more and more times over. As yet, I don’t have any plans for a Sherlock fanfic – although I have had some ideas! – but who knows what the future may bring. Plus, with the new series of Torchwood, and all the controversy that entails, I can’t help but notice that the Torchwood fandom seems to be dying just a tiny bit now. I, of course, will keep on writing what I’m writing, and I have many other random ideas for new Torchwood fics, but the fact remains…
Ah well. Only time will tell! Crazy things do happen. In fact, sometimes I just get this random urge to go back to my abandoned Harry Potter fic, that I began just before beginning university ie. when everything went crazy. Hahaa. I’d have to completely scrap it and start again. And that is highly unlikely to happen. But one never knows…
Sooo… any closet fanfic writers out there? Please, come out! 😀 Or, alternatively – any other interesting hobbys that people have? 🙂
(*wipes forehead* Phew, longest post yet, I think! Do hope I didn’t bore you!)