How Fiction Got Me Through 2020

It saved the whole year for me, really.

Photo by Mahendra Kumar on Unsplash

I don’t need to say that this year was rough. We know that. We’ve all known that.

But now that it’s ending, I was able to sit down and reflect on what it was that got me through the year, even in my darkest moments.

And, honestly, I wasn’t too surprised at the answer.

Fiction has always been there for me.

It’s always been there for most of us, I’d say. Ever since we were little, reading silently in our grade school classrooms, soaking in the imaginary worlds that were coming to life in our heads.

And that’s really something, isn’t it?

I think so. And, recently, I’ve rediscovered just how much love I hold for reading fiction.

Don’t get me wrong, non-fiction, self-help, books about honing your craft, I love it as much as the next guy — but it isn’t the one thing that single-handedly saved my year.

I was doing bad.

Nothing in the world felt right, I was dealing with personal issues, I had to move three different times, and everything constantly felt like it was falling apart.

Now, stay with me for this next part. I know how it’s going to sound.

One of my closest friends introduced me to a little something called booktok. If you don’t know about this already, it’s a subsection of the app TikTok where people from all over the world get together to form a community solely to talk about books.

And I love it.

This is really what got me back into reading.

I read one book. Then two. Then three. Then another in a single night, staying up until 4 in the morning just to know how it would end.

I was thrown back and forth between fictional worlds for so long that I almost felt like things in my real life might be okay.

Though it wasn’t just fiction novels that brought me out of this regular/episodic/quarantine depression. It was my own writing as well.

I haven’t posted anything on Medium since September, which is a bit of a new thing for me, as I was obsessed with posting on this platform for a long while.

I had initially quit writing — Medium and my novel — due to that regular/episodic/quarantine depression I mentioned earlier, but rediscovering my love for fictional worlds brought me back.

I began working on my novel again! And everything started coming together.

I was missing the joy of stories. Of worlds I could only dream of, of characters I could relate to and feel love for, my own or otherwise.

And I think that’s what I desperately needed. An escape from everything, a way that I could explore other worlds and stories from the comfort of my own home.

That’s what saved my year, honestly. Stories. Writing my own, reading others, it brought back something I’d been missing. And I can’t tell you how good it feels to finally feel like I remember what it means to tell and hear stories. What it feels like to rediscover what led me to want to be a writer. These stories, these imaginary, made-up worlds, mean everything to me, and I absolutely adore how they make me feel.

I hope you can rediscover that feeling, too.

Novelist/student. 20 years old. I write about writing and mental health. Check me out on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

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