I walk every day. It’s a recent habit encouraged by a change of circumstances and one, with hindsight, I wish I’d started sooner. There’s a simplicity in the open air; in your footfalls falling on a pathway, in fresh, clean air that cleanses your nostrils and a strange comfort in the sharp coldness that awakens your limbs. So every morning, come rain, hail or shine, I don the trainers, plug in the earphones and walk. This first hour of the day brings a clarity I never knew I needed; helping me to see what I'd been too muddled to before.
So a couple of days ago, when the weather turned colder, I didn’t to hesitate to leave the house, only pausing briefly to add a pair of gloves to my itinerary. It wasn't until I reached a nearby pathway that I realised something else had arrived overnight; black ice. Gingerly, circumnavigating the invisible ice swirl pathway, I made the mistake of forgetting how clumsy I am, and got over confident, only to turn the corner, lose my footing and fall headlong into a Looney Tunes cartoon. You know the one I mean; where Tom chases Jerry around the corner only to fly into the air before falling spectacularly down onto the ground? That’s exactly what happened, and whilst I picked myself up from the ground and hastily checked for an audience to another clumsy incident, I couldn’t help but laugh, as my inventive life once again merged with my daily activities.
My epic fall reminded me of how I felt at the beginnings of my trilogy. Recent submissions have led me to read over my manuscripts. Immersing myself once more with the characters, places and world I conceived without rhyme or reason. Now on the cusp of embarking on my next trilogy I find myself asking if I could do it again. My physical fall, with the bruises to prove it, reminded me of the leap of faith I took when I began writing the story. I had no synopsis; choosing instead to trust my characters would take me where I needed to go. A faith that has been paid has been a thousand fold.
The emotions are the same; the euphoric high of that gigantic leap into the air as you launch into the unknown and the sharp bite of the low; as you crunch into the ground. But sometimes, without realising, you need to fall to understand you’re strong enough to get back up again. Trust your characters to keep speaking to you; encouraging you as their conduit, to tell their story. Even once you finish, they won’t stop. Rose, one of my protagonists, literally stood over me; belligerent and indignant, when I thought for a second of giving up. Instead, insisting that I keep on sending her out to share her with the world.
So if I could leave you with one parting wish, I would like it to be this; take your leap of faith. Trust your instincts as you jump into the darkness to illuminate the story that you’re meant to write. I’m about to jump again and it’s scary and as exciting as hell. Who was I kidding thinking I could never give this amazing life up even for a second? My creations will never leave me or the home I’ve made for them. So are you ready to take your leap of faith? I am. Here we go. I’ll see you on the flip side.