I was going to wait till the end of the year – or at the very least till Work-Life Balance was on the shelves – to write this, but the Difference Engine team sent over a video the other day of our book getting printed. I don’t know why, but that short video just overwhelmed me with this sense of… well, “relief” isn’t the right word. It feels too small. But it’s the only word I’ve got.
I’ve spoken before about how this – Work-Life Balance, my fortieth birthday, all of it – feels like a turning point for me, like the end of a journey that started with my very first book back in 2014. It’s probably a coincidence that that book received a very nice blurb from David Mack, and I’m rereading his Kabuki series again right now. (Though the series would argue that coincidences are the universe’s way of showing you a path forward.)
What’s more, I’m on volume three of the omnibus collections, The Alchemy storyline, where the main character, Ukiko, has come out of her past life transformed and is reinventing herself as someone new. As much as I enjoyed and appreciated David’s work before, I think it’s pretty obvious why I’m connecting a whole lot more to Ukiko’s story on a personal level this time.
I’m not sure what this next chapter holds for me, as an author. I’ve got plans, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last eight years, it’s that I should be ready to go with the flow and accept that plans will change. I planned to balance my work in advertising with my writing, but that ended up tilting too far towards the former. I planned to just work less when I went freelance, but ended up working on projects that connected more closely to my writing.
I expected to remain single for the rest of my life – but then found a partner who’s influenced my work far more than I think anyone realises, even her.
Whatever comes next though, I feel more at peace than ever before. I have nothing to prove, to myself or anyone else, and more importantly, I’m understanding that I never did.
(If you haven’t already, you should totally read David Mack’s Kabuki, by the way. It’s so good, I’ve owned it in, like, three different versions.)