Choose Your Own Adventure?

Do you ever wonder why you write? A recent comment left on a previous post reminded me that most writers (mind you I haven’t taken a poll) write because they looked for a particular story and didn’t find it. The lack became so irksome that they decide to fill the void themselves with a story of their own making.

railroad tracks in city

Photo by Pixabay on

It was the same with me. As much as fairy tales can leave me feeling unsettled, it’s nothing to some of the modern stories I find about women. More often than not, women (or girls) don’t go on adventures willingly. They’re dragged along because they’re the smartest one in the room or they’re trailing some boy. And they’re never Latina.

I’ll be honest, I say that last line with reluctance. It can be tiring banging the drum for an entire people because then you become the drag in the room reminding everyone to acknowledge your existence. Exhausting, isn’t it? But I’d be a terrible protagonist in my own life if I didn’t tackle the hard topics.

It made me think about one of my favorite book series, Choose Your Own Adventure. At times it was like playing The Oregon Trail–all paths led to death (or dysentery). Nevertheless, it was so much fun to go back and pick a way to finish the story. Were you feeling dangerous? Cautious? Curious? You were the protagonist and so you chose what happened next.

All those early female protagonists bothered me so much because they never chose their own adventures. They went from one situation to another because they were chosen. That’s why I enjoy the new princesses (Hurray for Ralph Breaks the Internet!) so much–agency. Isn’t that a great writer word? Becoming instrumental in the story of your own life. Worthy of the Logophile. Agency is the most important thing to a writer, especially if you were driven to write because you wanted to take control of a story and then share it. It’s even more profound when you’re a indie author.

Anyone else choosing their own adventures in writing? Or any other creative endeavor?


2 thoughts on “Choose Your Own Adventure?

  1. Well said. I know its exhausting, but people like me soooooo appreciate the effort. It smacks us upside the head and makes us look beyond our own bubble of privlege and experience. With every story I work to make sure its inclusive and that everyone has agency.
    Also, choose your own adventure books were the best!

    • It’s one of those things I sometimes feel like I have to gear up for, to start what I think of as obvious, but isn’t readily apparent. It’s why I like choose your own adventure books–I was finally in the story.

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