Ever since I was a kid I wanted to write a novel…

Ever since I was a kid I wanted to write a novel…

I would sneak into Mum and Dad’s bedroom when they were out and tap away on Mum’s typewriter, inevitably getting told off for “wasting” paper and the typewriter ribbon.

Fast forward about forty years, and I have a document box full of notebooks, scraps of paper, floppy discs – ideas for stories, poems, song lyrics, comedy sketches. Hundreds of ideas, and that many again have been lost on old computers, or misplaced scrapbooks, or memories eroded to time.

But I never did finish a novel.

Put it down to a mess of insecurities and emotional blockages, childhood angst carried through to adulthood, a fear of success and failure, shyness or laziness: there was always a reason. I’d start a story and get into it then procrastinate or feel it was rubbish or it would just peter out, and a year or two later I’d start another one, only to have the same thing happen.

It was a constant source of disappointment for me, fuelling my insecurities and lack of self-worth. It was failure, a failure which I have carried since I was twelve years old. Who knows how much damage that’s caused.

But as of today, as of RIGHT NOW, the playing field has changed.

As of today, I have a finished novel. A 164-page, 41,194-word tween fantasy starring an alternate reality version of my daughter, a herd of unicorns, a magical giant white tiger, and a whole army of evil harpies.

I have no idea how to publish it – but that doesn’t matter right now. That is a task to work on in January.

In addition to that, I have another novel – a sci-fi P.I. adventure – at first draft stage. The rewrite of that will be happening in January or February, then I’ll have two novels to publish and a third to start – an epic tale of rock n’ roll madness, mayhem and murder.

For now, though, I’m going to kick back and enjoy the massive sense of relief I feel at actually having – FINALLY – done this thing which I have wanted to do for forty years.

But just because I’ve finally achieved this, doesn’t mean that this is an ending.

This is just – at long last – the beginning.

Happy New Year, folks. Shine on.

Shane Pinnegar

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