my dad–also a writer–came to visit, and i mentioned that the best thing to come out of the layoff is that i’m writing again. he asked what i was writing about, and i said what i always do: “oh, just fanfic,” which is code for “let’s not look at this too deeply because i’m basically just making action figures kiss in text form” and “this awkward follow-up question is exactly why i don’t call myself a writer in public.”

he said, “you have to stop doing that.”

“i know, i know,” because it’s even more embarrassing to be embarrassed about writing fanfic, considering how many posts i’ve reblogged in its defense.

but i misunderstood his original question: “fanfic is just the genre. i asked what you’re writing about.” 

i did the conversational equivalent of a spinning wheel cursor for at least a minute. i started peeling back the setting and the characters, the fic challenge and the specific episode the story jumps off from, and it was one of those slow-dawning light bulb moments. “i’m writing about loneliness, and who we are in the absence of purpose.”

as, i imagine, are a lot of people right now, who probably also don’t realize they’re writing an existential diary in the guise of getting television characters to fuck. 

that’s what you’re writing. the rest is just how you get there, and how you get it out into the world. was richard iii really about richard the third? would shakespeare have gotten as many people to see it if it wasn’t a story they knew?”

so, my friends: what are you writing about?