Once upon a time, there was a pad of paper and an ink pen. There was half a paragraph describing the Banned. It was the winter of 90/91, and I was dating a biker – I guess somethings are inevitable.
Through my twenties, the project sprawled to some 600,000 words – three and a bit books – and ran dry just short of the Ubiquitous Final War. I stopped in the middle of a sentence, and never went back to it.
I’ve often wondered what I was doing – or where that sentence would have ended.
Stopping writing – being unable to write – is a deeply personal thing. Whatever your artistic outlet, quitting, admitting failure, is a tragedy. And you miss it! I missed the catharsis and the creativity and the characters and the places it was going to go and to take me… Eight years of lacking the confidence to imagine is a dark thing indeed.
I’m sure you know the rest. Returning to the Con circuit in 08, I started writing again, and Ecko was reborn, initially only for me and because I found that I could. Equally wordless to losing a dream is finding it again, all un-looked for. It’s magic in its purest form, and it feels like amazement.
So: twenty-plus years. Ecko’s a contentious and confrontational project (I didn’t realise that when I started), and hasn’t been to everyone’s tastes. But I’ve been lucky, as I haven’t had to compromise the content. It’s meant a share of very aggrieved reviews (what do you mean it uses bad language and crosses genres?!) but hey, them’s the brakes. I never thought even one person outside my social circle would read it, never mind enjoy it, and that’s been more than enough.
Anyway, standing at the closure of dream is weird feeling. I cried when I wrote the last sentence (upset the cat), because the journey’s been so much of my life, and because I’ll miss it, and because I never thought it would happen at all.
But honestly? Though it’ll leave a hole, moving on is probably long overdue!