I started role-playing on October 20, 1999 during my senior year of high school. At the time I was in love with all things Phantom of the Opera and joined several Yahoo Groups with “phans” of the book and musical. Then I stumbled across a group where I could play as a character in Leroux’s world. It opened my eyes to many possibilities. I created characters, plotlines, and began to write.
I had been a very reluctant writer before that point. You should’ve seen my abysmal English grades, but I found with role-playing I had an outlet for my active imagination.
I slowly shifted from Phantom of the Opera and a few other musicals, including the Scarlet Pimpernel to Harry Potter. This is where I hit my stride. I role-played in JK Rowling’s world until July 16, 2011. For ten years I spent with other HP fans until I realized I didn’t have the time any more to devote to role-playing.
Yes, just a couple weeks ago, I quit it. I met wonderful friends and learned so much. It’s sometimes hard to believe it’s over.
I spent over nine years writing for RPGs and fan fiction until I wrote my first novel. In my almost twelve years of role-playing, I probably wrote several million words. There were some days, especially in those early years, that I wrote 5,000-10,000 words a day. I think the most posts I wrote in a night are over 100.
If it weren’t for role-playing, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today. I needed those years to grow and mature as a writer. Mimicking other writers helped me learn and become my own writer.
I wouldn’t change that time for the world.
Has anyone else role-played? If so, how did it help you grow as a writer?