I discovered fandom in 2001, and fell down the rabbit hole. I landed hard. My life got busy in 2002 onwards, and I all but vanished from fannish life. I was well and truly out by the summer of 2010, but when a friend nudged me to watch this new show called Sherlock that had just aired, I did. I loved it.
I loved the relationship between Sherlock and John. I loved what they’d done with Watson! He had depths! He was a man of action, but he was obviously made of coiled, unspoken emotion! So compelling, so many possibilities! The desire to dip into this nascent fandom was rearing its head. This time around, I knew what choice lay before me, and what its consequences were. Open that door, or not?
If it hadn’t been for the fact that I was one year post cancer treatment and facing another surgery to determine if I had a new round of treatment to endure, I think I would have closed that door. Fandom takes up a lot of time and energy. It can be deliriously fun and damagingly distracting at the same time. I had a surgery date. I wanted to be distracted. I opened the door.
I tried not to write anything. I love writing fanfiction, but I never plan to do it. When I write, it’s because I have to. It’s wonderful, but it consumes me completely, and who has times for that? Who choses to be so consumed?I read and read, I had my surgery, I read some more, I got good news regarding my health (yay!), and then, goddammit, I wrote something.
Something small, I thought that would be okay. I thought I could get away with it. Don’t write any novels this time. Just a little thing. Just scratch the itch.
The Progress of Sherlock Holmes is a novel-length story written by someone who was trying very hard to avoid writing a novel-length story. I was in denial about it being a novel-length story for the first half of it, easily. That damn story forced me to do something I’d decided never to do again, and I’m grateful for that.
I wrote it because I felt compelled to, even though it contains a characterization of Sherlock that few if any people wanted to read about. It’s in first person present tense, another decision few if any readers want a writer to make. I apologized for it a lot, but I had to write it. And I loved it. That story reminded me how much I love writing, and how happy writing makes me, and that’s not something I’ll soon forget again.
The voice in that story is so sticky that half the comments left on it are in the same voice. I had to work myself up to write in that voice every time I sat down to work on it, and I was never sure whether I was getting it consistently or not, even right up to the end. But afterwards it took me fully 6 months to stop writing in that damn voice.
Honestly, I have no idea why my difficult, weird, inappropriate on many levels attempt at a story, written after only 3 aired episodes of a show in 2010-11, received its 10,000th kudos today. That’s a variety of madness and kindness that I cannot explain. But I am grateful for it.
Thank you for being here when I needed you. Thank you for finding a place for a story that no one, including me, really wanted. Thank you.