In and Out

I’d love to know how Normal Brains work. By that, a couple of assumptions are made: there are people who do not go through the mental turmoil I seem to cope with on a semi regular basis, and there are people who just write and everything comes out fine. Yes, I know you do editing and you tweak and then you go get some advice from your friends and tweak some more but… Okay, let me try and explain the problem I have in words that make sense.

I’ve always been able to write, and if you look at my work across a period of years it is obvious where the light-bulb moments have taken place. Just as pianists must practice, or an athlete will run every day whilst in competition, keeping mental faculties sharp is a vital part of the evolutionary process. What didn’t happen was the discovery of my own internal ‘voice’ until very recently (and by that I mean the last five years.) Fiction before this point was variable at best, and I’d not written a poem since the late 1980’s.

It was time to go to the mattresses.

Fighting myself has been very productive since 2012: pushing away the perceived barriers of ability, logically dismissing shortcomings, learning from everywhere and anywhere. The oddest stuff has been inspiration, literally hundreds of hours reading other people’s advice, so that a workable path could be plotted between where I was and where ability needed to be. A fellow writer this week has lamented the time its taken her to edit her novel. I’ve been at MMXCI for over 18 years, only now close to something that could be considered worthwhile.

I have 007 to thank, of course, for the training wheels that were stuck on my two fanfics, easily removed and bolted onto my own work. Creating a work of fiction in a well-established, easily accessible Universe give an opportunity to work out what is needed for your own to work, and for me there were so many holes to be filled when pulling MMXCI back to the table. However, now comes the realisation why that is so important, as the narrative pretty much runs as parallel experience for how I managed to find my way from the lowest point in my life in 2005 until now.

I have inadvertently written an autobiographical novel.

What has happened in between 1999 and now, of course, is the continued and systematic learning and unlearning of the restrictions on my mental freedom. After all that time, I really am getting somewhere.