Bec Dempsey
Aug 15, 2018 · 2 min read

Automatic Writing

Never had a teacher. I had a voice. It filled my head. You can’t step into the same river twice. The voice moved my hands. You can’t read a story twice and have the same experience.

I typed. Half asleep or in some kind of trance the stories would pour out. When I woke, they would be finished. Another bestseller sent off to my agent.

I remember nothing, except for the aphorisms: the sacred only knows itself, the voice says. There is no past, there is no future. Sacred is being and being in the moment, which is the eternal now. A wry smile: I thought, perhaps, I was possessed by the spirit of an American motivational speaker.

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If there is no future and no past, where was I when I was typing? I went back to its books to see if I could learn something. Reading didn’t help. Science fiction novels can’t explain their own existence, can they?

The voice has fallen silent and its stories have stopped.

This is the first story I have written.

I wonder if the voice will read it?

This work was written for and first appeared in 2014’s Open Changes, an experimental flash fiction writing challenge wholly contained to its own specially designed portal, and run in conjunction with the now seemingly defunct If: Book Australia. It is said that online means forever. Sometimes, it is slightly less than forever, thus my writing tip is whatever you write for publication online, back up. Keep your copies, store them, not just on your main lap top, but on a hard drive and other drives, and in the cloud if you like. You could even print hard copies. Because one day, a site will shut down and the links to your publications will lead to dead ends. Thus it came to pass that The Future of the Book organisation disappeared, taking with it it’s past accomplishments, and its own future.

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