The Magic Of Fanfiction

I’ve always been an eager reader. However, in the past couple of years, I switched to non-fiction literature almost exclusively. I guess, it felt more productive to do so. I know :sigh:, I just cringed at myself too.

I had no idea how much I was missing out on by leaving the world of fiction behind. And when I was ready to explore it again, I stumbled upon something I never thought I’d enjoy – fanfiction.

Fanfiction allows fandoms to step outside of the canon narrative and explore the stories deeper. It creates ships that wouldn’t happen otherwise and follows the existing ones a little deeper.

Fanfiction has the power of fixing a character that had a limited story arc. It helps solve the burning “what if” questions that people have when they deconstruct the story. It touches on alternative universes and transports the characters into a different time. It is creative magic in its purest form.

Words cannot describe how wonderful it is here. The writers are talented, creative people. But most importantly, both readers and writers are so supportive! It is incredible to see comments, likes, and shares that people in the fandoms are so generous with.

As of right now, I have a couple of fics in progress. Once they are finished, I’ll start publishing them on my website and on AO3. I can’t wait 🙂

Meanwhile, let me share a couple of my favorite Dragon Age Inquisition Solavellan-inspired fanfics:

Beloved by Cedarmoons

What A Wicked Game To Play by CrackingLamb

Beneath The Veilfire by Oxygenforthewicked

Ouroboros by Cedarmoons

Message Sent by Aicosu

Redefining Productivity To Fit Your Life’s Goals

It is tough being ambitious and lazy at the same time. Living in a state of constant flux doesn’t do my mind any favors. The battle between the goal-getter and a vibing hippie never seems to end.

This is an example of the inner monologue that is happening inside my head literally every day. “I want to be productive and write my fanfic pieces. However, they aren’t generating any income, so wouldn’t it be more productive to go and write for a paying client? But with freelance work comes a totally different set of responsibilities. Instead of pouring my heart on paper, I’m stuck researching keywords and learning more about topics I care about very little. So even though writing for money is a more fiscally responsible choice, it barely advances me as a writer. From the creative point of view, writing free fanfiction would be more productive.” 

Nothing I can do is ever good enough no matter how much effort it takes and what kind of results it produces. It’s never enough because it could be more – and there always could be more.

We like to think of hard-working people as virtuous by default, and tend to praise high achievers without looking at the full picture of their lives. Wealth, respect, and fame are wonderful accomplishments, but we know little to nothing about these people! Quite often, success comes at a cost of family and friends time, hobbies, and mental health. But we choose to focus on the positive aspects instead. 

“Go and work another 18-hour day,” they say, “and you could be just like them! A myth, a legend, a glorious story to be passed around.” 

In 2010s, this message was so loud that I couldn’t hear my tired consciousness quietly begging for relief. I was miserable throughout most of my twenties, and no amount of goals achieved made me feel happy in any real way. Yes, there were some outbursts of joy (or rather, pride?) but the rest of the time I was just dragging myself to do the work required to pull off the next big thing.

Is it a productive use of one’s time? Hardly. Spending all your energy digging yourself into a deeper hole is, in fact, a very questionable choice. Now, imagine how much one could achieve if they allowed themselves to pursue the things that were truly meaningful to them.

Contrary to what it looks like, I’m not trying to sell you on the idea of universal basic income (although wouldn’t that be nice?). Instead, I’m encouraging you to think about what being productive means to you.

Just like the notion of happiness had to be redefined throughout the pandemic, I think it’s time we redefined productivity. Spending your life in a chore mode will check many boxes off a generic to-do list, but does it really push you further as a human being? Does it advance your character, as in who you want to be as opposed to what you think you should be? People cite discipline and willpower as admirable qualities, but if you use them as a whip that makes you run faster, you’ll feel like an abused circus animal in no time.

So yeah, please consider redefining what productivity actually means to you. We still have to do many unpleasant tasks, but maybe there’s a way we can outsource some of them in favor of doing more enjoyable things. Maybe, just maybe, we don’t have to engage in soul-sucking activities as much as we’ve been tricked to believe. Maybe life is not meant to be a miserable existence but instead an adventure, and you get to pick what it’s going to look like.

We have to unlearn so much, don’t we? ❤

computer setup and the streaming setup

My Streaming Setup

I started streaming in December 2020. I didn’t know anything about it except that I loved watching other people on Twitch and I wanted to try it out myself.

I already had some items on hand, for example the ring light that I bought off Amazon for $13 a couple years ago. I used it to hold my phone when recording videos for social media, and it works just fine to light my face.

Continue reading “My Streaming Setup”
How to avoid creative burnout

How To Avoid Creative Burnout

I know how burnout feels all too well. It’s the sinking emotion of dread and misery that sits somewhere between my chest and my stomach. It senses like a spring that gets compressed just a bit more every time I think of the task to be done. It is the feeling that makes me wonder if I’m really just lazy, unmotivated, or ungrateful for the opportunities I’ve been offered.

In my experience, nothing about the last sentence is ever true. Turns out, the self-inflicted guilt trips are in vain. It’s never the inherent laziness or lack of motivation that prevents me from “just doing it”; the task simply sucks, and that’s why I have 0 interest in it.

Continue reading “How To Avoid Creative Burnout”

Rediscovering the joy of gaming

Gaming has always been a pretty big part of my life. It may have started with Spider and Solitaire as an innocent way to kill an hour or two, but now RPGs have taken over my free time and my mind. Series such as Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls, Fable, and Witcher are among my favorites.

For a long time, I despised myself for loving videogames. Queue all the stereotypes: they are getting in the way of my productivity, it’s a waste of money and time, and they are dumbing me down as a person. Eh, nothing like some good old self-loathing to keep me “motivated”, right?

Wrong, oh, so wrong. The truth is, videogames gave us some amazing storytelling and inspired thousands of people to create art of their own. Be it illustration, fanfic, or ships no one has ever asked for, people got influenced by the games and went on to express their creativity in amazing and unique ways.

Take one’s game house building capabilites, add ambient sounds and some amazing instrumentals to get 1 Pure Magic 😀

Now that I’ve said it, I won’t be addressing the stereotypes anymore. The way I see it, people who are frowning upon playing videogames are just barring themselves from some of the most awesome stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It’s like refusing to watch TV on principle. In any case, you do you, just please don’t judge others for spending their time however they like.

So, back to the sense of joy I discovered in videogames. For many years, I’ve been enjoying lovely storytelling, roleplaying, and seeing the world from different points of view.

Last year, I started wondering how I could feel more comfortable about my love for videogames. I made my peace with it, but isn’t there more to it? Like, can I genuinely enjoy my games without getting jabbed with the inescapable sense of guilt every now and then?

As I turn thirty this Friday, I want to spend my time doing things that I truly enjoy. And even though I don’t expect this particular passion to provide me with a full-time income, I still just want to give myself a chance to do what I love for work. It’s not a job, but it’s something that I’d like to commit to and pour my heart and energy into. My biggest dream right now is to build a friendly creative community where people can share their passions and support each other along the way. I’ve gotten so many eyerolls over the years whenever I tried talking about videogames, roleplaying, unconventional storytelling, and cosplay; I just want to have a circle of people where these things unite us rather than give someone a reason to judge.

And of course, this is bigger than just videogames. I want to uplift people pursuing their creative passions. I’d like to encourage people to be their creative selves, be it for work or pleasure. They say you’re a sum of the people that surround you; I want my online circle to consist of wild, passionate, and creative people.

This is my North Star for the next decade of my life. I hope that I’m strong enough to see it through.

If my vision aligns with what you’re into, welcome to the club! Please feel free to reach out, share your work/hobbies here in the comments, and let’s keep in touch! Feel free to share your preferred method of communication, and links to your socials ok to post here. And when it comes to connecting with me and the rest of the community, you can do it on Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, Discord, Youtube, and of course, here in the comments! 

I have a vision and goals that may be too big for me. But the bigger the community grows, the more realistic they sound.

Elder Scrolls Online Solitude House

The End Of A Long Day: Instrumental Music Playlist

Imagine coming home after a long day. You feel tired and spent. But it’s ok, you got the whole night to yourself, and it’s your favorite time of the day anyway. You go to your most beloved part of the house – the balcony – to listen to the sounds of the night. The town is slowly falling asleep, becoming quieter and quieter. Now you can hear cicadas, birds, and even the sound of wind grazing the trees outside of your townhouse.

It is time to reflect on the day you’ve had. Your mind drifts away, recalling all the people you’ve met and all the things you did today. Now that you’re home, safe and sound, everything that happened today seems so far away. You’re home; it’s time to rest.

Instrumental Music Playlist. The End Of A Long Day.

The visuals are from the game Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). It is player housing in Solitude, the Proudspire Manor, that is also well-known to anyone who has ever played Skyrim. Hope you enjoy the music, ambient sounds, setting, and character design!

If you want to learn more about the game, check out my Twitch account. I stream ESO content at least 3 times a week:

All music came from Epidemic Sound. If you need royalty-free music for your projects, videos, or live streams, check out Epidemic Sound .