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That Feeling You Get When ...

That feeling you get when … you’ve finished writing the final chapter of your book!

At last, I’ve completed the trilogy. Well, that’s to say I’ve completed the draft of Children of the Lie and now it’s off to my beta readers for their comments.

It has been both a joy and a torment, and so much more difficult than writing books one and two - Children of the Gods, and Children of the Vines. The challenges I faced in pulling together the many threads of this complex saga occasionally left me wondering why I succumbed when my beloved readers asked for more.

Months of careful rereading of the original texts raised unforeseen problems – and, sometimes, these required further months of reflection as I waited for the answers to present themselves. More than once, I reminded myself of Leunig’s wonderful cartoon, in which a man walks along the contents of his own mind as it unrolls on the road before him. The little poem accompanying this gem begins: “Let it go, Let it out,” and is as applicable to the writing process as to any other facet of life.

Because writing fiction is a process of unfoldment. It is incredibly difficult because it demands the cooperation of both sides of the brain; and most of the time, they seem to be at war with one another. The analytical side thinks it knows best and wishes to direct the project, but it understands nothing of the creative process. Meanwhile, the creative side wants to dash off in a dozen different directions with scant regard for plot consistency.

So, we tread the path that leads into our own head, allowing it to take us where we need to go. Perhaps that’s why I find so many ideas arising spontaneously when I walk for miles along the beach. Each step takes me further into Nature, but equally, it takes me more deeply into myself.

Hopefully, the manuscript won’t require too many alterations; but I know I can trust my beta readers to provide an honest appraisal. They are both literary folk with excellent editorial skills, and their support over the past few years has been invaluable.

Once I have placed it in their capable hands, I’ll be free to finish designing the cover, create a glossary for some of the unusual terms (especially the Greek), and continue the painstaking process of editing. Inevitably there will be spelling errors and problems with punctuation, but it’s all part of the enormous investment of time and energy we put into our creative lives.

Someone asked me recently whether the royalty cheques contribute much to the support of my lifestyle, to which I responded that the last one would probably buy me a decent cup of coffee and, perhaps, a Danish.

We write because we must, certainly not for gain or glory – and because the privilege of sharing our vision is a gift of inestimable value. Sending the offspring of our creativity out into the world to seek its fortune is all part of the process.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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