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When Publishing Isn't For You

There is so much information out there about querying, revising, rewriting, publishing, agents, and everything related. But being published isn’t the goal for everyone who writes, and it’s not the destiny of every single project.

And that’s okay.

There are even other ways to share your writing, if you love to do it, but aren’t ready to, or don’t ever want to attempt to become a published author (or maybe want to do some just-for-fun stuff on the side). Fan fiction is probably what comes first to everyone’s mind. It’s easy to find all over the internet, and some of it is amazing.

But you will find more than just fan fiction on the internet. In this post, I’m going to focus on a creative outlet I have used in the past: the sims.

I think most people have at least heard of this game, even if you have never played it. I believe the storytelling aspect started with the original sims game, but it was the sims 2 exchange where I lost my showing-my-writing-to-people virginity. You can find sims 2, and now sims 3, stories all over the internet, not just on the exchanges, and you don’t have to own the games to read them.

The fun thing about writing using the sims is that your characters and settings come to life, and really, the possibilities are about endless, if you’re not averse to downloading some custom content and playing around a little bit with photoediting programs. The sims are devilish little things, too, with questionable morals and a tendency to make decisions you do not approve of. It’s fantastic for creativity. Sometimes, they pretty much write their own stories. Maybe not bestsellers, but a place to start, and your imagination can take it from there!

I loved writing stories using the sims, and posting them to the exchange. It was a fantastic way to show myself that I was, indeed, capable of showing my writing to others, and one of my sims stories turned into a monstrosity of a project that I’ve rewritten a thousand times and hope one day can become something more. (The fate of the rest of my poor stories was deletion from both the internet and my computer. They still have a place in my heart, though.)

Now this is probably starting to sound like some sort of advertisement, and yes, the pretty pictures (which, by the way, are a random assortment from both the sims 2 and the sims 3) are enticing, but it’s really just a lesser known writing outlet that’s definitely worth keeping in mind.

In case I’ve gotten anyone curious, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t give you someplace to go check out a sims story. This one, called In the Valley of the Sun, is written with pictures taken in the sims 3. It’s funny and well-written and creepy, and it’s really easy to follow, because the author has posted it on a wordpress blog, with a table of contents and everything!

The moral of this post: writing is about the love, and if the publishing part isn’t for you, it doesn’t mean you have nowhere to share your words. Be brave, and have fun!

Kaitlin Ward

Kaitlin Ward is the author of Bleeding Earth, Adaptive Books 2016, and The Farm, coming 2017 from Scholastic.

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  1. I am so, so glad I didn't know about this back in my Sims days, because I seriously might have flunked out of college. This is really cool, Kaitlin! Definitely a fun outlet, and the idea of creating characters and settings makes it sound more fun than fan fiction.

  2. The Sims started my love of writing, too. I was twelve when I started. I LOVE The Sims. I just got the newest Sims 3 expansion pack last month.

  3. This is such an interesting thing that I had no idea about! It's so true that there are other cool outlets for writing besides publishing. I remember getting addicted to the Sims when I was little. Such a timesuck, but a mega fun one :)

  4. I do really miss that unbridled joy I used to find in writing at age 12, 13, 14... long before it became Serious Business.

  5. I've heard of the Sims but never thought about this aspect of it. It might be good for trying out a new genre.

  6. I also used the Sims as an outlet. It helps you learn how people really feel about your writing because they can leave comments. Absolutely helpful and I wouldn't be attempting publishing without support from readers out there via the Sims network.

  7. I remember when I went to a friends house a few months ago and we played the Sims for half an hour, and her mom told us to stop, but as soon as she walked away we played for like another hour :p When I got home I was like, "Mom, can we please get Sims 2????"


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Item Reviewed: When Publishing Isn't For You Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kaitlin Ward