I thought i would finally share a little insight to this novel that has been consuming my mind for two years. No matter what writing project i try to continue with and publish, Alena (Temporary title) has been clawing at my mind, pulling at my heart and i am ready to finally finish it.
Where it began
Around 2018 i found myself in a very weird place, probably the peak of my depression and the start of this on going roller coaster ride of mental health. At the beginning of the year, i was determined to write a book, i was tired of writing and never finishing drafts, this time i needed to do it but my mental health was not allowing me to remain focused - I struggled with my creativity and as anyone knows that when you're creative (for me a writer) that also comes with it's down black clouds - Something i will talk more about in my podcast.
The moment precisely of when the thought of this story is a blur, i just remember being very very sad and that i wanted to write about a character who is too very sad and embarks on some kind of journey that's totally different to the journey she is already on.
After thinking, brainstorming, this journey of magic naturally fell into place and one scene in particular (I will share snippets one day) - It became a fantasy, not some contemporary story of an extremely depressed 28 year old trying to find a place in the world. This felt different. I wanted this to be a beautiful escape from a dark and dreary place my character was already in.
Alena became some sort of manifestation of me, from her feelings of disconnection in the world she lives in, to the loneliness and uncertainty of being alive in this world itself.
Her journey isn't about finding more about herself, she knows who she is. It's not about turning a new leaf nor is it about finding love.... I don't want to spoilt it but when you read this story, i hope that anyone who has ever felt or feels the way Alena feels will understand those hidden messages, the faces around us that hide their suffering - And of course the ending.
The ending is something i thought of at the first brainstorming stages and it upsets me thinking about, perhaps because i am so closely connected to this story that i truly feel and understand the why's.
I know our life isn't full of magical adventures but if the mere thought of being sent to another world of fantasy when we die or need to dream, if that helps someone feel relaxed and happy for a while then i am fine with that. Stories and dreams have a purpose, we use the imagination to escape for a while and that is what i want this story to be - An excuse to wander off into the unknown.
Why has it taken me so long to write this book?
It's a funny thing being a writer, we're riddled with self doubt and we are constantly question whether we should even be writing. In January 2019 i was four chapters away from finishing and i took a few days break, this turned into weeks then months and a full year. The anxiety i got when i knew that i was so close to finishing, i convinced myself that the story is rubbish and nobody will ever like it. But here is the lesson i have now learnt. I do want people to read it and love it as much as me and sadly life doesn't work that way, were all so different with our tastes and what we like. We also need to write the stories for us, they are ours and the most important thing is that we are doing it for ourselves.
2020 and this story will not leave me alone, all the fiction projects i want to write and plot or start writing seem to quickly fade as Alena pops back and shouts at me for not finishing - So i am focusing solely on writing this book, once i can say the end, i will feel relieved and even if it takes me forever to edit it, that's okay i still told it.
So Alena, title not yet known will be written this year and i cannot wait to share more about the world, the creatures but i want an official title before i do that as i hope to commission some art work and things. Thank you for reading, i hope you are as excited for this as i am!