They used to say that talking to yourself was a sign of madness. Lately the perception has been swinging the other way, with studies (don't go read that unless you're REALLY interested) saying that it's actually a great way to increase cognitive processes and intelligence.
Well, I don't know how normal it is, but as a writer I do it a lot, when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. I narrate a good deal of my own life and always have. It's gotten me plenty of strange looks over the years, but I've never quite understood the problem.
Lately, that habit has been paying dividends! I'm doing my latest revision out loud. To break that down for you, I'm locking myself in a room and reading my last revision and fixing/trimming things as I go. It's been working fantastically so far, but I find I'm having discussions with myself, out loud, about how to fix certain paragraphs. No, I don't mean I'm simply saying the alternative sentences out loud (though I am doing that), I'm discussing the merits of certain word choices and sentence orders.
I only worry when I give myself completely awesome and unexpected answers.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
I've been reaching out and finding Critique Partners beyond my Alpha Readers (who are great), and sending them some sample chapters. Some of the folks I reached out to are busy and I want them to know I'm completely cool with that. You need to take the opportunities you get and run with them, I'm rooting for all of you.
I have had some luck finding people to look at my work and not cringe in disgust, so that's good. I won't shout out to them here until I know they're cool with it and whether or not we'll continue beyond some sample chapters. But I love what I'm getting from them so far.
This is an exciting and terrifying time for me, but I'm having a blast.