What do you write as a first official post on a page like this?
Part of the reason for me starting this writing blog and creating this page is that I’m awful at promoting myself.
You know the party you were at over the weekend? I’m that woman you kind of noticed standing by herself in a corner. I’m a textbook example of an introvert. I don’t dislike being around people, I’d just rather observe and listen then be seen and heard.
Which might be problematic. It’s hard to make people notice what you do when you don’t actually want them to look at you.
But, here goes.
My name is Fredrika. I’ll skip the last name, it’s just a bunch of weird Scandinavian letters you don’t have in your alphabet. I’m Swedish – hence weird Scandinavian last name.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been creating stories in my head. About twelve years ago—I’m thirty-five—I started to write these stories and share them online. I didn’t take writing seriously, and it wasn’t very good. Who am I kidding? It was awful, horrific, just terrible. But I received a lot of love and encouragement from the community I was part of, and I kept writing. I got better, took it more seriously, but I never saw it as anything but a silly hobby. A hobby that was fun, but that I wasn’t very good at.
Then 2014 happened.
My mother was diagnosed with cervix cancer in November 2014 – she died August 12th, 2015. She was fifty-six years old.
My mother dying was… There are just no words to describe the emotion accurately. You either know what it feels like or you don’t. The time after was, let’s say difficult and pretend the word is enough. I was left alone with all the responsibility. I’m an only child with no family of my own, by choice. My father was not in a place where he could be much help. There I was thirty-three years old and with the weight of an entire life needing to be ended on my shoulders. Death is very bureaucratic and labor intense.
I needed an escape. I couldn’t run from the responsibility that had been put on me, but I could take breaks. I’ve never been much for support groups and such. I just end up trying to fix and take care of everyone else instead of myself.
Writing became my escape. My characters my therapists, support group and grief counselors.
For the first time, I allowed myself to become truly submerged in the world and characters, I was creating, and it opened a door that I can’t shut.
I’m in a better place now. The grief will never go away, but I’m thirty-five years old. I can’t stop living because life sucker punched me.
So, here I am. Grief made me hide in my writing and now writing silly little stories as a hobby isn’t enough anymore. My writing might never lead to anything. It might always be a hobby. But whatever happens, I want to write the best stories I’m capable of, and I want to share them with people.
That’s really scary for me. As I said, I’m not good at promoting myself. I don’t think I’m a fantastic writer or that my stories will change literature forever. But I think I’m ok. I think I might even be better than some authors that are published. I’m my own worst critic, I’m the first to say I’m not good enough.
But what the hell do I know? Maybe I’m wrong. I’ll never know if I don’t let people read what I write.