AThe fire crackles, dying embers fly into the chilled night air as the author sits, crumpled in his reading chair. Tired, he groans and averts his gaze from the warmth as he feels his eyeballs melting from the lazy heat.

‘Time to do this’, he thinks.

After having finished his book tour for this last work, the conclusion to the bestselling series he’d been highly acclaimed for, he remembers answering the crucial question he was always asked, with:

YES! Something is in the works, it’s very different. Think: ‘fresh’, ‘exciting’, nothing you’ll have seen from me before.” A statement his agent, and subsequently his publisher, was just as excited a
s the press to hear. Over and over again this same answer rippled through the pipelines to converge on the reality:

Pen has not touched paper in over a year.

The publisher tried to stimulate quick turnarounds. Deadlines passed, advances were offered; eventually these were taken off the table as the idea of getting nothing else from their once-diamond in the rough began to set in. The fame had got to him, the pressure of the adoring fans waiting for this new and exciting creation to arrive, ignorant of the fact the mystery is just that, a mystery to the creator himself.

‘Right, time to get up’, he thinks to himself again. With a groan and a creak of the chair a long shadow is cast behind him, kindly brought to life by the fire before him. Jittering and expanding, this shadow inches towards the writing desk in front of a floor-to-ceiling window with a view of the snow-covered woods. Untouched and pure, he thinks of the ideas that have come and gone over the months, vivid and almost tangible in his mind’s eye.

He stares outside, the snow appearing as if it were giving off its own light, staring back at him. Ideas danced in the cold, falling to the ground before him, ideas of heroes and villains, of issues needing discussed, all falling together into the masses of white coating the view. It gives the author an image of being suffocated with his own imagination.

Which to pick? Which to choose. This is the very issue that has kept him back, the choosing. It’s all so exciting in the beginning, the words flow with the naive notions of the ‘dream job’ and the ability to be heard. Now he sits, having been heard, not knowing what to say next.

Hesitating for a little while longer, he thinks about how he felt before this career threw him in the deep end of deadlines and constant expectation. The need to be better than before, not looking back for fear of shadowing the way forward. Listening to the crackle of the flames from the fireplace and the imagined sound of snow falling outside, he thinks of the solitude surrounding him, the lack of prying eyes, the quiet.

He picks up the pen, and he writes.

To be heard once more.


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