Dear Diary,

I’m sorry it’s been a while. We haven’t spoken for ten years. But let’s focus on the bright side. I have so much to share with you. I quit my prestigious job and left the office nine-to-five routine behind. I have written and self-published three books. The road to self-publishing has been bumpy. And it still is rather intimidating, with new obstacles popping up around every corner.

I’ll start from the beginning and tell you, step by step, how I ended up hunched over the keyboard from dusk till dawn – okay, the “dusk till dawn” bit might be a slight overstatement, but writers tend to dramatize, right? – after years of white-collar bliss with business trips, international conferences, and exciting projects with partners from different countries.

To justify my reckless behaviour, I could have told you that my job was boring. That it consisted solely of preparing useless documents and complying with meaningless rules. But I won’t do that. During the years you were listening patiently to all my teenage troubles, I’d always been honest with you. I don’t plan to change it now. The last job I had before the audacious quitting move was fantastic. Even now, years after I left, people still ask me if I don’t plan to return. It was the job that I wanted, not simply something that came along. And I was ecstatic when I got it.

Out of fifteen years that I spent struggling with squeezing my daydreaming self into the shell of a decent career woman, seven years that I spent working on that last job were the best. My job duties were interesting and due to them being tied to a project implementation cycle, they never turned into a boring routine. My colleagues were fantastic. With many of them, we’ve become friends, and with some, we still meet up socially. Friendly and supportive, we worked as a real team. We often spent time outside work and even travelled together. The trip to Stockholm in 2009 is still fresh in my memory, filled with adventure, exciting places, and laughter.

When I remember those days, even to me it seems insane that I decided to leave it all behind.

What happened, you probably wish to ask. Dear Diary, I promised to tell you the truth rather than its sugarcoated version, so here it is.

I was in the office at my desk. Yes, I’ll admit it, daydreaming a bit, but ready to get back to my tasks at hand in a short while. And then it happened. A man with black wings dropped on the floor through an open window.

We had a beautiful view from the office. Our premises were on the top floor of an old building, and the view over the rooftops of the Old Town was magnificent. The spire of the Cathedral cutting through the blue summer sky… Pardon, dear Diary, I got distracted. I started telling you about the man with black wings.

Yes, this amazing creature seemed so real that I couldn’t move for a while. I just sat and stared at an empty spot on the floor. The spot, which was to grow into the whole new universe. True, it took almost ten years for it to grow. And years passed before I “looked” at the black-winged man again. I hadn’t known that then, so I turned to my work computer and for the rest of the day, typed frantically, afraid that the story of how a dark-haired Wingless woman and the alien-looking Winged One man met for the first time in the history of two different worlds would dissolve in my head and disappear.

I have no idea how many words I’d written that day. I remember that it was about forty pages. For some reason, I left it there and didn’t get back to writing for five years. In those years, everything had changed. I became a mother. My life’s pattern lost its nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday structure. And when I’d adapted to that new life pattern, the dark-haired Wingless woman and the man with impossibly black wings started talking in my head again. It was still a long way for them to make me write down their story.

Dear Diary, I’ll let you rest from my babblings about the past now. But I promise to continue with my story. As I told you, the road has been bumpy. There were many rocks, and I stumbled over each and every one of them.

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