I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always loved story-telling. Growing up, I used to have a tonne of little A5 notebooks that were filled with the beginnings of fantastic adventures. I’ve gotten rid of a significant number of them (it’s too embarrassing), but occasionally I find some of the other ones in random boxes at home.
Typically I’d base them on dreams that I would have. I have very vivid dreams, which apparently isn’t always common. I liken it to Inception, in a way, because it feels very much like the dreams in that movie. It looks very real, and yet… when I wake up, I realise that it was full of holes. You just don’t realise it because at the time, you’re asleep. All my dreams have colour, sounds, sometimes smell… and conversation. If I wake up and jot it down, I could quote the dialogue verbatim. I’m bilingual, so I could also converse in either language, depending on who I was talking to.
This meant that, often, I’d end up in crazy dream adventures. I remember having a serial dream, where it progressed each night. I had a companion pupper that would go on adventures with me. I also had a lot of dreams involving the ability to fly (during the Harry Potter craze I even upgraded to a broom), which actually culminated in me writing a short novel when I was 16- very much like Whisper of the Heart, in that I stopped all schoolwork until I could finish writing it. Funnily enough, that was when I learnt to touch type, because once you’ve written 121 pages… well, you kinda have to.
So, when I started doing academic writing, I didn’t have a solid grasp of the prose, or vocabulary, but… as soon as my Supervisor told me that it was essentially logical story-telling, something clicked. It didn’t feel as confusing when I realised that all I needed to do was to determine the pitch, or the story. What was I trying to communicate? What were the most important things? Could I introduce it in a way that made sense? I’ve outlined the entire process of how I went about writing a Ph. D Thesis before, but I essentially applied my love of story-telling to my writing, and things improved greatly from there. Admittedly it wasn’t an overnight thing, and I credit my Supervisor for the countless hours spent reading over my drafts, editing them, and then re-reading what I’d ‘fixed’.
Now that I’m no longer doing a lot of academic writing, my brain must’ve felt a little lonely or something, because last week I had this sudden urge to write fiction again. I have no idea where it’s going, or what I’ll do with it, but… I think it’s important to keep your hobbies. It makes me happy, so I might as well just run with it and see where it takes me.
Also I hear escapism is a wonderful way to cope when things are crazy, and… don’t we deserve a little escapism under these strange circumstances?
Hope everyone is doing their best to stay at home and stay safe… I’d highly recommend trying your hand at writing, if you happen to feel a little bored.
A former wet-lab based Bacteriology Ph. D student residing in Australia. Now working part time at a secret location as a Communications and Data Officer. 👀 🦠 🧫 🧬