Imaginings are almost like films that play in my head. For me they tend to be animated, and highly detailed. From being a couple of years old I would scrunch up my hands, tighten my muscles, and create incredibly detailed worlds and characters in my head. I would create hundreds of characters, each with detailed back-stories. Over the years I had six or seven imaginings that I worked with the most often. Even though the story lines on these were not always linear, they always connected. And I could work with stories for years at a time, developing the characters, creating a bit more of the story each time I did an imagining. I would often do one-off imaginings as well, or ones that I would work with every now and then.
Often music would inspire me, but I have found that I have always been able to do imaginings. It is difficult for people to fully comprehend what they are; some of them are stories I came up with when I was six or seven years old, that I have never written down, and yet still remember in full detail to this day. They are stories that if they were to be put in to a T.V. show would take seven or eight seasons to tell. I would often re-visit the same scenes over and over again, but at the same time I was always sure to continue the stories; working in new characters and plot devices constantly. Even though I didn’t start writing till I was eleven, I have been coming up with characters and stories since I was a baby.
In a way it`s as if I have an entire production team in my head: a creative team coming up with scores of characters, plot devices and dialogue, an animation department – as all these imaginings were completely animated – and an editing department to get them flowing seamlessly together. Music was the main stimulant for being able to slip in to an imagining, but they would happen frequently without music. I honestly think that if I hadn’t done these as a child I wouldn’t have any interest in being a writer now. I have written several horror and fantasy novels – none of which have been published yet. Each of which has been directly based on imaginings I have worked with over several years.
Overall what I think this shows is that any autistic behaviour will have a meaning, and a purpose behind it – no matter how it might look to neuro-typical people. Everybody has behaviours – they are part of the human condition – and often these can be incredibly beneficial to the person involved. In the case of people who have autism, unless the person is hurting themselves or somebody else, they should just be left to get on with them – you never know what benefits they might bring.
To read more about Paddy-Joe’s ‘imaginings’ check his blog at: http://askpergers.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/imaginings/