So it's finally over: my four year writer's journey of completing The Knight Trilogy. Boy, what a journey it's been. I can't believe the lessons I've learnt and the changes that have taken place in my craft and in my life as a writer (and publisher, website designer, book trailer producer, graphic designer, marketer, social networker, blogger etc.)
I set about writing 'The Knight Trilogy' as a total labour of love; it was personal. The Knight Trilogy is 'the' story which I have carried around with me since my own teenage years. It was my maternity leave with my first daughter that spurred me to finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and it is during my maternity leave for my second daughter that I pressed the publish button on the last instalment. There feels a strange unity to that.
The finishing of The Trilogy has been a very strange experience; part of me never wanted to leave the world and the characters I'd created. I went through a strange form of grief and anxiety about the story ending because with its ending it meant a certain phase of my life was also ending. The writing of The Knight Trilogy was very much a therapeutic experience; it helped me to process and deal with several of my own demons that had followed me into adulthood and helped me cope with a near death experience. Writing 'The End' at the end of the trilogy wasn't just writing 'The End' to the story of Blake and Mina but to a whole bag of issues that I feel I can now leave behind.
At first I had no idea what was going to happen beyond writing this story; I didn't really have the intention of morphing into a writer but fate seems to have had other ideas. As a result of my incredible journey, I've sometimes wandered off path and found the most amazing people and opportunities, as well as discovering things about my own writing capacity (or limitations) that I never would have predicted.
In the last year, I've had several poems published in a beautiful anthology called Inspiration Speaks (A copy sits proudly next to my first paperback) and short stories published in several electronic anthologies. Yes, I've discovered I can write those too - I had no idea! In fact I've fallen totally and unexpectedly in love with the short story form.
Oh, I also discovered that somewhere along the journey, I wrote a novel called 'Beautiful Freaks' which (although it's poor form to say about your own work - I LOVE!) Strangely I have no recollection of any angst or frustrations over writing it - and discovering it in my documents was like suddenly remembering a wonderful dream. Maybe that's what happened, I wrote it in my sleep!
This week, in post-publication carpe diem weirdness, I sent a cheeky message to a friend compiling an anthology of ghost stories and offered a story I hadn't at that point written. The story burst onto the page and has inspired me to think about writing my own little collection of dark supernatural thriller stories - maybe in time for Halloween.
As with all journeys, it's all been step by step. There have been no real shortcuts (just mistakes), there has been getting lost and discovering wonderful places and people, tiredness and satisfaction. I've missed my family on occasions as writing is a demanding beast. (We've managed to thrash out and negotiate that one over time)
And so, having been 'home' a few days, it's time to get the mapbook back out and think about where to next.