When I was bedbound I would lie for hours imagining stories in my head. I escaped to other worlds and wrote other people’s lives for them, because I was so out of control of my own life. I couldn’t stop the pain from the ME/CFS, make things better, or live a normal life, so I invented people in my head who could do the things I couldn’t.
They went on incredible adventures, faced struggles and hurdles, enemies and foes, they had fun and excitement with amazing people and enjoyed heart stopping amazing, beautiful romances. They could do everything I dreamed of, they had no limits and I could give them happy endings. If something bad happened, it was fine, it was just a stepping stone to something that was guaranteed to be better. If I didn’t like a section I could go back and change it and keep doing that until it was perfect and I was happy.
It was the only way I could cope with the horrors that were happening to me and around me, it was a lifeline and the way I kept my sanity. What I didn’t realise until now, was that I was basically writing books in my head and that the process of writing them down isn’t that different to constructing them in my head, in fact it’s easier, I just have to verbalise the images and type quickly to keep up with the film that’s playing inside my mind.
I love the stories so much, love the characters, or rather people as they are to me and I feel really excited about the thought of sharing them with others. Part of me is a little terrified at that thought, what if other people don’t love them too; but a bigger part of me doesn’t care, just wants to write this all down just for me, so that I can take these stories out of my head and have them in a physical form to keep forever, even if nobody ever reads them but me.
What’s really amazing is that I didn’t imagine just one or two; but lots and lots, it was over six years and I haven’t really ever stopped and that doesn’t even begin to take into account all the new ideas I seem to be having. The best part is most of them are still there, sitting somewhere in my brain and they keep flooding back, a single memory will release a whole library of stories and then it’s all I can do to focus on the story I’m on at the moment. I’m making notes in my little ideas book and I know I’ll eventually write each one down; but the process is much quicker than writing something new, because I’ve already honed it in my head.
I will still need to do lots of editing, because it’s hard to convey these vivid pictures in my mind into convincing narrative; but it’s still exciting. I can honestly say I’m having some of the best fun in my whole life and I hope it continues for a very long time!