I finished writing my last story today. Ten stories and 57,000 words in total. Almost a year in the making. I bundled off the last three and sent them to my publisher. Only my poor bewildered dog around to witness the whoop of victory and accompaning happy dance.
I am thrilled on so many levels. Exhausted but proud, like a parent. I have set myself something and finished it. But above all, I’ve vanquished my demons.
Every morning, as I dragged myself to my desk, I tried to ignore the little voices that kept telling me I was bound to fail. The whispering that I would never fill that empty, expectant space with words that someone else might want to read. You are not perfect, the voice said.
Yeah, tell me something I don’t know.
I wanted my stories to be more rounded. I wanted them to be fun; not so serious. I dreamed of stories where people didn’t drown or feel like drowning. I had an urge to show I could do clever and coy, to show I could do optimism. But at some point I had to accept my poor emo stories for what they were.
I ended up with ten flawed, errant, strange and hopeless stories. They stand together huddled against the backdrop of rain and misery. Dark stories representative of a time before, when everything in my life was grey and isolated. To airbrush them would be dishonest. Maybe it isn’t enough. But they are mine. Perfection be damned.