Why Writing "Theories of Insanity" Was So Important to Me.
Updated: Apr 26, 2020
For those of you who do not follow my writing (not sure why that would be, but to each their own,) I'm currently uploading a new novel onto two different writing platforms: Wattpad.com and Radish Fiction, an app available for iOS and Android. I've been writing on Wattpad since my freshman year of high school and on Radish Fiction since my senior year of high school, but I've never written a book as important to me as Theories of Insanity, the new novel I'm uploading twice a week on both platforms.
I just finished up my sophomore year of college in April 2019, and it was one of the best years of my life. I made amazing friends, my sister was out in Utah with me, I got promoted at my little food court job, I published my second book in print, I went on multiple road trips to states I'd never been to before, and one of my best friends came home from an 18-month-long mission and moved in with me. Sophomore year was a blast.
But it was in stark contrast to my freshman year of college. I had exactly one (1) friend for most of the year. I had terrible luck with guys, which wasn't new for me up until that point, but it still wasn't fun. I struggled in my classes my first semester, and I stressed about money constantly (although that part hasn't really changed.)
That's not to say that there weren't good times. I made a few more friends my second semester and went to California for spring break. I lost the eight pounds I'd been trying to lose since high school and I dyed my hair blonde, which I'd wanted to do since I was 12.
But the absolute worst part of my freshman year came in the form of a roommate who I just could not get along with, no matter how hard I tried.
We were fine at the beginning. I lived in an apartment on-campus, so there were six of us living there total. I got along with most of my roommates. I just didn't get along with the girl who was my direct roommate--the one who actually shared a bedroom with me. When I started to figure out, around October or November, that our personalities were just not going to mix, I figured it would be fine. We could live in the same apartment and just be friendly but not necessarily friends. That would be easy enough; I had shared a room with my younger sister for my entire life and only started liking her during my senior year of high school.
But my roommate wasn't having that. I'll call her Madison, since that's her name in Theories of Insanity and I'm not here to hurt anyone's reputation publicly. Madison went from trying to force me to be her best friend to doing everything in her power to make my life as miserable as possible. She stole my food and ibuprofen, (which may not sound like a big deal, but when you get stress headaches like I do, it matters) she would sit down and watch movies with me and my dates until midnight, and she would absolutely never do her own dishes. She called me a homewrecker for having a crush on a guy with a girlfriend and made a "10 o'clock quiet rule" because evidently I was too loud. All of it led up to early March, when I was called to my hall adviser's office.
I'm not going to give away the entire book, since hopefully you'll want to stick around and read it. But the point I want to make in this post is that Theories of Insanity has a lot of important lessons in it that I learned during my freshman year, and most of them were based on my atrocious relationship with my one roommate. I learned the immense impact of unrelenting judgment on another person. I learned how differently people can be raised from each other, even within the same religious community. I learned that sometimes, no matter how hard you try to be kind to someone, that kindness is not returned.
I was on the phone with my mom one night while writing Theories of Insanity. She asked if I really wanted to write this and put it out online, for all the world to potentially see...since it was an entire year of my life, the good, the bad and the ugly. She asked if I was comfortable doing that. I said that I was, but I think I was lying. I'm uncomfortable doing this. I'm uncomfortable sharing the mistakes I made and some of the things I did while maneuvering my way through my first year of college. I'm uncomfortable writing about previous, not-so-great relationships. I'm uncomfortable with not knowing who could end up reading this book that recounts my life in explicit detail.
But I'm also so incredibly excited. I'm excited to share this with whoever wants to read it and present it as fiction. I'm excited to upload it chapter-by-chapter and remember the good times that I had during my freshman year, however few there were. I'm grateful that I was able to write about the tough times and recall them, because in doing so I was able to let go of a lot of anger and resentment that was holding me back mentally and emotionally. I'm grateful to be able to use writing to share things that I believe are important, such as arguing against girl-on-girl shaming and the long-term effects of judgment and emotional struggles.
So, whoever reads this book--whether you know me in real life, love me in real life, hate me in real life, or don't know me at all and just wanted to sit down and read a book on Wattpad...I hope something in it speaks to you. And I hope as the book goes on, you'll be able to feel the real emotions through the pages.