World Building As a Child

Until not too long ago, I thought something was wrong with me. I was actually embarrassed of the extent to which I created imaginary worlds and friends since childhood. Like any child, I did a lot of pretend play with my dolls, toys and I created imaginary friends.

I thought all of this was a normal thing to do because most children did it and it was normal. No doubt about that. But then I started keeping a journal of people’s names and descriptions and what they did on a daily basis. I think the last time that I saw that journal I was around fourteen years old and by that time I had over one hundred names in it.

I hid this book very well, though I’m not quite sure how I had misplaced it. Into adolescence I retained a lot of what I created in my head and I thought it was a childish thing to keep entertaining so I didn’t miss the book. But growing up, I had this fear inside of me that I’d lose memory of every little thing that I wrote down in this book. I was deeply attached to whatever characters and stories I had created.

Some worlds that I created was sci-fi or fantasy based. I remember getting a tiny finger sized alien figurine from an arcade and I built an entire world and story based on him. It was entertaining to review those scenes in my head. I really had some type of fun with all of this.

The biggest world I created is one like this one that we live in. There was an entire system in place. Families, people connected to one another. Whatever job you can think of, I had a character that did it. There was also an entire school system, a hospital and people who worked and lived there. I’d have been mortified if anyone found that book and read it.

Fast forward to years later, and that world flickered in my mind, so I decided to google world building. I can’t exactly remember what words I used in the search but it definitely wasn’t world building. I found out that this is quite a common thing among people, especially writers. That definitely piqued my interest as I’ve always wanted to write stories. I will detail in another post the history of my love of storytelling.

For a while I thought it was an unhealthy thing to use my imagination so hard but it’s how I escaped life, escaped this world so I could create my own reality where I felt like someone significant. Just to add in, I was a sad and insecure child and teenager. Depression hit me hard and I felt like everyone around me loathed my existence, so I then began to loathe my existence to the point that I felt like I didn’t want to live anymore.

I think subconsciously I imagined an entire world where I could be myself, where I could be free from whatever held me back. A place where things happened fairly and people weren’t so mean. And I believe that a lot of my characters stem from something deep within me, parts that always have something to articulate.

xo Coffee Doll

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