Yesterday I did something I thought I would never do, I typed “The End” on my rough draft for Book 5 of The Keeper Chronicles. A series of five complete novels had finally wrapped up, had finally found their light at the end of the tunnel. The door was closed on that world, the chapters ended, all people in their rightful places and all dangling plots handled. I typed the words, I still don’t believe it. I watched the end play out, I watched my story finish and as my characters smiled and closed the door on their journey my biggest question was, what happens next?
It felt oddly comforting and fulfilling to have managed to accomplish not one, not just two, but five full novels in my short career and for that alone, I shed a tear and patted myself on the back. The end for me also felt saddening and confusing. I suddenly felt lost, set adrift in a sea of new stories, new characters, fantastic new adventures. I should have screamed at the top of my lungs overcome with grief, I should have attempted a cartwheel yet my mind simply stalled, everything turned to blah as soon as the panic and worry washed over me. Could I continue on a new path, did I even want to?
People, places, and conversations I’ve had the past few years with the invisible ones inside my head were now quiet, empty, gone. It was if rent came due and suddenly the entire apartment complex simply walked out in the middle of the night leaving nothing but memories of lives littering the floors. Days, weeks, years of slowly typing along, slowly writing out their adventures had shifted to nothing more than whispers in the wind. Is it normal to feel empty and proud at the same time, is it normal to congratulate and flagellate in equal measure?
It’s tough to jump for joy when you question your next steps. It’s tough to pat yourself on the back while craving a hug for your efforts as the tickling of sadness seeps in telling you that this part of your life is over. Maybe it is, maybe its only this specific chapter.
See, I want to keep writing, I want to continue and I will, sooner rather than later. I don’t want to feel sad that a series ends, I want to be overly thrilled to start a new one. Akin to driving into a new town and visiting with the locales, I want those experiences, again. So, I’ve decided to do all that, and more. It may feel sad at times, hell it may be hard to even start, but if we don’t, if I don’t aren’t we just denying our passions, dreams, and goals?
I promise to continue, I promise to support those just starting out, those further ahead. I may be in my own little boat paddling away in this giant ocean of writing, but I see you out there floating along at your own speed, I see you, I feel you, and I heart each and every one of you a thousand times over. As I scurry off for editing madness and formatting craziness, I think about the writing community and all the strength, creativity, and support they offer and it empowers me to carry on.
Whatever it takes, don’t give up, never give up. The sadness, the pain, the eye strain all worth it, the experiences too rich to deny. I’m going to give myself a hug, give each of you a smile, and step through the door toward new journies, discoveries, and experiences with a few thousand friends along for the ride.
Keep writing, keep sharing, keep loving!
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