I guessed how I would feel today; relief and euphoria mixed in with a little sadness. This is the day I has been either thinking about or planning for a year; hoping reverently that the image in my head would match up with the reality I had instigated. It ended with a short four-word sentence. Four words that I have dreaming of writing for a year. The small sentence does not appear to mean much. But to me, after three books, 128,000 words and a year of my life; they mean the world. Telling me that my absolute belief, in the smidgen of a story, its characters and their fates, become so much bigger than I ever imagined.
I wasn’t meant to finish this soon. A month ago, a sudden desire to finish the story came upon me. Trusting my instincts and following the wish without rhyme or reason, I gave myself a self-imposed deadline upon which to have the story finished. In the last week, my characters gathered and shouted as a crowd, chasing me in my dreams, urging me to finish the story as they chased me through woods and mountains into fathomless black water outlined by vivid purple skies. In finishing the story I fulfilled a secret wish to myself. My initial ideas for my fairy tale were so random and perplexing that I only had trust and instinct to guide me. Being relatively new at the writing game, I’m without the years of experience that would point the compass in the right direction. So when I took my initial chapters to my writing class to gauge opinion, I listened when my experienced writing teacher said three magic words; “finish the story.” Taking the advice to heart, I kept writing ignoring the temptation to edit the obvious mistakes in composition and grammar obvious on review.
My mood bounced from euphoric to passionate and I have never felt more alive.
In the last month, as the rush of excitement and consumption with my story increased I felt like I was living a dual existence. My own life took on a fanatic pace whilst the world of my imagination continued playing in my head, unrelenting, refusing to let go until I typed the very last word. Despite the conflicting priorities, this time has been amongst the happiest of my life. My mood bounced from euphoric to passionate and I have never felt more alive. Even wishing I could invite other people into my head like a tourist guide for the dream like state where my characters existed. The world you have created so much a part of you its stitched itself onto your soul. My mood communicated to those around to the point where a lady at my gym who I see about a week commented; “whenever I see you, you are always smiling.” During the same time, part of me wanted to delay the ending. Asking why couldn’t stay forever in the world I loved? So part of me dreaded that last sentence. Knowing I would cry as I said goodbye to the characters I conceived, loved and have saved me in more ways than I can fathom. On the last day I lingered for hours over the words on the screen, reluctant to let go but knowing that I must. For the very moment I stopped typing, the happiness and euphoria ripped through me like a tidal wave and I knew I would forever be addicted to storytelling.
So, what should I do next? A few months ago, circumstances gave me time to edit Book One of the Trilogy so pending a submission letter and a synopsis it’s ready to go and my well-thumbed copy of the Children’s Writers and Artists Yearbook is finally being put to use. Knowing I respond well to a personal challenge, I have given myself another self-imposed deadline. I must follow my own path. My desire to find an audience for this story is all consuming and my characters still feature in my nightly visions, refusing to leave until I send off the e-mails and brown envelopes. Whilst I secretly hope they never completely leave. Two days later the next story began calling. Ideas began to spark from pictures, television programmes and random thoughts. I started writing them down just as I did a few years ago. I already know the title and the main character have begun to whisper and I can’t wait to get to know them better.
So, if I could leave you with one parting wish, I would like it to be this; finish the story and trust your instincts. Believe in taking step down the dark unrevealed path. Your trust and willingness to take a chance will repay your faith. You are a creator. It’s your job to share the peeks from the invisible world and share your unique view with the world. Go for it and trust what your creative soul is telling you. It will give you a new life you never imagined.