So last night, the last episode of series 3 of ‘Sherlock’ was shown on British television, and we have all survived to write fanfics another day.
Frankly, I am glad it is over. I am fed up of it. I am fed up of all the over-analysis and navel-gazing and second-guessing. Its worse than teenage girls talking about their boyfriends! I didn’t wait two years for uncontrolled squeeing and unalloyed adoration. The whole series had massive problems as well as sublime moments, and I have reservations.
Reservations about the series and the way its going, and reservations about fanfiction.
Don’t get me wrong, fanfiction has been good to me. It has taught me to write in ways I could never have explored otherwise. It has given me the inspiration to write thousands of words and dozens of new works. I have written every day, and I have loved every minute of it, even the bits when I was sweating blood over plot bunnies and getting aggressive reviews. It has allowed me to deal with deep emotional trauma and reclaim my sexuality, something I never expected. So, hooray for fanfiction!
But right now it feels a bit like a straightjacket.
I’ve got so used to writing with other people’s characters that I have lost the confidence to write my own. And that is more than ‘a bit not good’.
Somewhere along the line, I have lost myself. My own voice. The only voices I can hear in my head these days are those of Cumberbatch and Freeman. My own original characters have fallen silence, and I need to give them back their voices.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that I will never write fanfiction again. I’m convinced that pretty much everything I have ever written has been a fanfic underneath. And I had a surge of inspiration yesterday that finally undid the plot block I’ve been struggling over in my ‘Cuddleverse’ story, so hooray for that because it means I will be able to finish the damn thing! And I so need to finish it!
But now my brain is finally coming back online after our Christmas Emergency, I am realising that I need to branch out in new ways. That feels scary. New stuff can be scary. But if we don’t test our boundaries, how can we ever grow as artists?
Happy boundary testing,