January 09, 2014

A Third Year Begins

I suppose now would be a good time to spill my own personal beans, after the fashion of Emma DawnRider.

(Note: this post is quite long and fairly personal, so if that makes you uncomfortable, I'm not pressuring you to read the whole thing, or even read it at all. Just thought I'd let you know.)

Before I begin, I should let you know that a while back, I discovered that I had a certain mental disability (?) called Social Anxiety. Basically, this is shyness to the point where it's not so much a colorful addition to a personality as a potential danger. Usually, a person has one or two special trouble spots, and they will give up or crazily do anything if it means avoiding those things, because they're sure that if they make mistakes, everyone will be judging them. For me, these were, and still are, to a certain extent, speaking in front of groups of more than five or so people and starting conversations.

Believe it or not, I was pretty much the chattiest little kid alive until I was about seven years old. Then, I started to grow more reclusive as I realized I was nothing like other kids my age. The reason? I'm not into pop culture at all and I write for fun and enjoy reading big books. The fact that I read the Lord of the Rings at eight years old sort of proves my point. When girls my age, who I'd once been close friends with, only wanted to talk about their favorite bands and the like, I felt forced to drop out of conversations and the Social Anxiety slowly set in. It kept growing and peaked about two years ago.

It had come to the point where I no longer tried to avoid prolonged contact with other people, they tried to avoid prolonged contact with me. I felt lost. Then, I was bored and surfing the Internet in my room when I discovered Wizard101. I started playing, eventually bought a Game card, and then I was hooked.

I had menu chat at the time, so I didn't have any good friends in the game, but I found a few Wizard101 blogs and thought they were cool. I especially liked Alia LotusPetal's blog, back before she quit. I thought she was pretty funny and we had similar interests, and I noticed she used emoticons and stuff a lot. Then, I saw the fame of The Friendly Necromancer. My brain did some kind of crazy equation along the lines of "funny with text speak and emoticons + fame = tons of friends forever!" :D

I started the blog. Since I liked art, I called it the Artsy Theurgist. If you look through my first six months or so of posting, you'll see I used text speak and emoticons a ton, and tried to be funny but didn't really succeed. Incidentally, I thought I was hilarious and way cooler than in real life. Oddly enough, though, the fame didn't seem to be coming. You can see me rage here. My real life best friend (and only friend) Elizabeth GoldenThistle posted a fake comment under the name Caroline FrostMask to keep me blogging. She admitted it a few months ago; I never suspected a thing until then, and...well, now look where I am!

Unlike Emma DawnRider, I wasn't really afraid of the big bloggers - I wanted to be just like them. Eventually, though, I got text chat and made more friends. As my Social Anxiety issues started to diminish, I came to realize that I didn't have to force myself to be that cool, popular girl, since that's really not who I am. (Somewhere in Summer 2012.)

Thanks to author Sierra WinterBreeze, who introduced me to fanfiction, and Emma Dawnrider and Destiny SoulTamer, unofficial bloggers who put it into my head that I could actually write a novel through NaNoWriMo, I also discovered a deep interest in creative writing. I now enjoy the process of creating plots and characters and putting words on a page enough that I would definitely consider doing this seriously for a long time.

Now, two years after I started this blog, not only am I looking forward to an excellent year, but I no longer go out of my way to avoid people. Many things that would have paralyzed me a few years ago, like sitting with the largest group of people in the lunch room and reading part of Legends of Light to my whole writing class, I can now do with relative ease...and it all comes back to Wizard101 and the Artsy Theurgist.

Oh, and Elizabeth GoldenThistle, because without her, I would have quit back in April 2012.

(By the way, do you like my new layout? I introduced four banners into the rotation, with a fifth coming tomorrow - can you find them all? Comments would be appreciated! Also, my blogaversary contest will be announced tomorrow, with a startling beginning and a tense story throughout. Not to mention better prizes. Who's excited?)

- Sophia E

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