Discover more from Story Voyager
Never have I ever wrote a Substack newsletter
...or published my fiction online.
Travel your imagination.
Ten years ago, I had an idea for a science fiction story. For the first five years, the story lived only in my head.
I started writing poetry when I was 16 years old. Between 17 and 19, I frequented a literary cenacle where I learned more about the craft of poetry writing. The brutal criticism from teenage prodigy writers left my ego bruised more than once 🙉 but it helped me win several poetry prizes.
So it was a fair deal, and we all became friends.
My writing journey continued under the guidance of a great poet who mentored me for several years. Besides helping me develop my style and signature poetic language, he urged me to express my most authentic feelings through poetry.
I dug deep and worked through childhood trauma that had kept me in an ongoing state of depression through my 20s. And for the first time, there was a sense of freedom and lightness. A few poems I wrote during that time were published in an anthology alongside other writers, including my mentor.
Our collaboration stopped after I began writing in English—my mother tongue is Romanian—nonetheless, I am forever grateful for his guidance.
So, when the idea for a science fiction story popped into my head several years later, I had no idea how to write fiction.
As a poet, I didn’t have the inclination nor the discipline to sit down for long hours to write.
I still don’t.
Nevertheless, I was so taken by my fantasy world that I began exploring it with my husband in hour-long chats. Then, five years ago, I decided it was time to write it.
I sat down at my desk, pulled my sleeves up and… did thorough research on how to write a novel. After all, in my mind, I was quite an accomplished poet. So, how much harder could it be to write prose?
Six months later, I hadn’t written a single word.
I finally accepted defeat, enrolled in an MA in Writing for Script and Screen at Falmouth University, and I stubbornly developed my fictional or secondary world for the next two years. I wrote science fiction for all my assignments.
All the stories take place in my imaginary world at different times and places though not all belong to the same plot.
My first assignment inspired me to write a theatre play titled The Roommate. This is the story of a teenager undergoing AI treatment after she slipped into a coma following a car accident that killed her family. I wrote the stage play for a friend who produced it the following year. (Honestly, my friend pushed me hard to finish that play. 🤭)
For my second assignment, I wrote a screenplay for a short film titled The Seed Grower about a woman who runs an illegal greenhouse. This tale inspired my upcoming collection of five short stories entitled There Is Hope about a world devastated by climate change and the things that give people hope.
(As a side note, most of the five stories exist only in my head. However, soon they’ll be written and published via this newsletter. Won’t they🙄?)
For my fourth and fifth assignments, I developed two additional story ideas.
One is a detective story about a teenager who becomes a fugitive when he is marked by the system as a potential criminal and uncovers his family’s dark past. And the second is about a young man from a poor district who gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be AI-enhanced.
For my final assignment, I wrote the first draft of a feature-length film based on my initial science fiction idea. This is the plot: When a teacher from a school for gifted children discovers the cruel fait that awaits the youths once they graduate, she risks everything to protect her pupil.
I finished my studies at the end of the first summer of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After that, not much happened. I continued working full-time from home, running a tea blog on Instagram, and watching way too many series on Netflix.
I felt like I was back where I started, but now, with more fiction ideas, I yearned to get out of my head and onto paper.
Frankly, writing fiction is the hardest thing I have ever done. And I work as a Product Owner for a company that wishes to create the first payment method based on renewable energy while being formally trained as a translator. 🤯
Though I’m an introvert, I’ve learned in my professional career that nothing significant is accomplished by laboring alone. Instead, I evolved the most when I exchanged ideas and worked with others.
Upon reflecting on my failed attempt at becoming an author, I realized that I must apply the same principles to my writing.
I need a space where I can publish my work as I write it.
I need a place to reflect on the topics that drive my stories.
I need a community with whom to share all the above and get feedback.
That’s why I decided to start this Substack newsletter.
Join me on this gargantuan writing journey, where I will try to become a science fiction author and publish all the stories mentioned above.
Suppose you stick around. There will be a bonus at some point: I have a fantasy story idea in store for you. It’s about a dragon 🐉 teenage girl who decides to become human after she falls in love with a prince 🤴 at a midsummer festival.
Did I catch your attention with my (rather lengthy) elevator pitch?
Then subscribe to my newsletter for free, and let’s travel our imagination!
100 days TV detox challenge.
One of the main reasons I’m starting this newsletter is to get into a writing habit and keep myself accountable. Since I have a full-time job, I need to cut down on my Netflix addiction to carve out time for writing.
So I’ve decided to start a 100 days TV detox challenge.
At the end of 2021, I did a 100-day shopping detox challenge, which went well. Today is day 12 of my 2022 end-of-the-year challenge, and I will post weekly updates on my progress every Monday starting next week.
I want to create awareness on the adverse effects of watching too much online entertainment—such as movies and series—on the human brain and memory. And I want to inspire people to read more books because they’re fantastic and healthy for our brains. (And I’m preparing to write one. And I need readers.)
Did you know that reading fiction is more effective at reducing stress than listening to music, drinking tea, or going for a walk? Tune in on Monday to read more about the benefits of reducing your TV time in favor of a good book.
Let’s start a book reading movement together! 🤓
The title format of my posts is a tribute to the series called ‘Never have I ever’ that caused me to start the 100 days TV detox challenge. RIP my series addiction 😢. (I will forever remember that last episode... Devi, did you and Ben…? Wait, will I have to watch season 3 🤭?)
If this challenge goes as well as my shopping detox, I have a more ambitious challenge planned for 2023. Do you want to know more? Subscribe to follow my current challenge, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. 🤔
Why subscribe to my newsletter.
To support me. And it’s free. ☺️
Until the end of 2022, I will post weekly updates of my 100 days TV detox challenge, including book and tea recommendations.
Additionally, I will serialize the first of my five short stories from the collection There Is Hope.
In 2023, I will serialize the remaining four short stories from my collection and send out at least two monthly newsletters until the end of the year.
Each article will be delivered directly to your inbox, so don’t forget to enter your email address below👇.