The journey….personal reflections on an apparently impersonal process

Resolving to ‘own’ my intellectual property by making it available to the public myself is having some unexpected effects on me.

Can I talk about feelings here? I mean, surely, people’s interest is more about wanting to see how the process works out, right? Isn’t this just a matter of someone self-publishing a few books? How complicated a thing can that be and why would there be any feelings involved?

Perhaps it’s only writers that will understand; not only are there feelings connected with the process but, on occasion, an overwhelming cascade of intense emotions. And, in reality, it’s the emotions themselves, rather than any concrete moment in time, that characterise the writer’s journey – even though that journey is different for all of us. The emotions are with us day-to-day, weighing us down or lifting us at every turn on the path.

For twenty years, writing has been my main focus. In spite of all the other things I do, writing has been the nail in the wall that I hung everything from. And I mean everything. So, whenever the nail fell out, and it did that a lot, I always believed my world was somehow ending. If that sounds melodramatic, I’m glad. It’s meant to.

Because, believe it or not, it isn’t through success that we find contentment. Only through that kind of woe-is-me suffering do we finally access freedom, do we come to realise that the bad things aren’t really bad, they’re just things.

There’s so much more to life than the turning of fortune’s wheel: the intensity of this moment, the magic of being manifest, the possibility that we’re connected to something far greater than our pathetic, whining egos. I honestly feel (Oops! Feelings again!) that we have to experience disaster and disappointment in order to go to the next level. Only after wading through all that shit that we can understand how the suffering arose and get free of it.

It is both frightening and liberating to consider but, we can’t alter the outside world, no matter how hard we try. The inner world, however, is a kingdom over which we do hold sway. Paradoxically, when we govern that inner world in peace and joy, we come to discover the outside world altering. We feel different. We feel better.

Or maybe that’s just me…

In editing the four titles I’m releasing at the end of May, in writing new forewords for each of them, I’ve spontaneously entered a deep review of my writing past. I have a sudden clarity that wasn’t there before. I see the diminishing and closing of one long cycle and the opening of another.

I never planned for any of this. I never would have said it was something I wanted. Nevertheless, I’m doing my best to allow it all to happen, rather than fighting it.

Will I succeed? Will I fail? I’m no longer convinced that it matters all that much.

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