Writers are often something else first, because many of us are never fortunate enough to become fully-fledged published authors right off the bat. We have been around a while, some of us dipping our toes into more than one profession before finding our writing feet. A plethora of metaphors aside, there was one element of my own past I had not figured into my writing, though I am now grateful for the knowledge.
Aromatherapy is still one of my main loves, because it speaks to my nature-loving side and my need for natural, organic alternatives to all the modern potions hurled at us today for cleaning our homes or our own bodies. This has provided me with some wonderful pieces in my writing, where characters are able to draw upon essences of nature to cure or persuade.
The real surprise, the one thing I hadn’t expected to use, was anatomy and physiology. I’d taken biology at secondary school, but this was more in-depth being as it was for massage use. I explored muscles in a way I hadn’t previously and learned more about bones and bodily systems than a GCSE had given me. It wasn’t a medical degree, but it was detailed enough to become useful when I was writing about Saxon warriors being injured in battles and skirmishes.
There are a multitude of roles a writer must play when creating their written worlds; many hats they must wear as they research and resource material and information on people, food, clothing, transport, topography and more. Anatomy and physiology is one thing I didn’t have to grab a book to read up on, as I had all I needed either still in my head or in work-folders from college. It was a hat I already possessed!
It is remarkable how things from your past can inform upon your future in ways you never imagined. And I never imagined I would use this former knowledge to fathom how a sword injury might infect and disable a warrior in early medieval times. Nor how someone might know where to strike their enemy with a sword in battle to kill or merely hinder them.
What parts of your past have informed on your future in surprising ways?