As dusk fell, bathing the landscape outside his window in a wash of crimson and titian, he perched on a chair which was hard and too small, and typed. The words fell onto the screen in a chaos of black and white, slowly at first then more furiously until a page was complete. Then two, and four and ten and more. The stars, which bestowed his story, watched as he typed. It was not until the sun crept over the horizon that he realised the screen was now crammed with words. He stopped and glanced at the window, squinting at the golden glow drifting into his room. Night had come and gone but his fingers had yet to complete their work. His heart tumbled with excitement as he drank in the words his fingers had scribbled onto the screen. As the story unfolded like a torrent, he was thrilled and disappointed in equal measure. The chaos had in fact found form and structure, beauty and simplicity and the ability to delight and touch the soul. Yet it was incomplete. In places, cumbersome, ponderous even. Cliched and hackneyed. He re-wrote and re-read. Stood, sipped hot tea, then sat again. He re-wrote and re-read again, searching for the right way to portray what was in his heart. Suns set and rose and set again as he poured his soul onto the page. And eventually, he was finished.
Nervously, he laid it out for others. Laid himself bare.
I think it’s a little like that. Maybe for some, the real talents, it’s a lot like that. For me, it requires a little more planning. A little more dedication to structure and form and character. It doesn’t just appear. World building takes time but, bloody hell, it’s interesting and exciting. What might have happened if history were different? What will happen if climate change is even more catastrophic than we can imagine? If we do not discover a replacement for antibiotics? Or if law becomes…unfashionable? I’ve always been plagued by ‘what ifs’. I can sit on the Tube (the Metro, the Subway, the El or whatever your local version is known as) and wonder what might happen if… well, I don’t want to give too much away. I’m working on one of those too.
But what ifs are dangerous. They require assiduous, almost slavish, devotion to following the thread to the end. Each permutation considered and weighed. It can take over your life. But I guess there are worse ways to go.
So who am I and why are you interested? I’m gainfully employed in a profession I spent many years studying, and competing, for. And, for fifteen years, I have devoted my full attention to it. Well, maybe not always full attention, but certainly most of it. I craved something different. Had dreams I was not willing to simply shelve forever. So, a little while ago, I started writing. Not the stuffy, rigid guff my profession demanded but instead I wrote to inspire others. Non-fiction. Adventure travel, to be precise. But, really, I wanted to tell stories. I always have done. It’s been something of a facet of my personality. In fact, in a sense, I’ve been doing it for years. So I’m making a change and beginning to tell the stories which currently reside in my soul. That, in itself, will be an adventure. I’ll make mistakes and maybe win some fans. I’ll get things right and maybe annoy people. Some, I hope, will engage with me and become a part of the various series I want to write. Maybe even inspire the way in which I write them.
Mostly, I want you to love what I am writing as much as I love writing it. If you have a smile, while you are reading, half as broad as mine, while I am writing, then I’ll be very excited.
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