I don’t normally approach the end of the year with a sense of relief. In the case of 2013, however, I was heartily glad to see the back of it.

The second half of last year was especially tough, what with my granddad’s death, followed almost immediately by me being diagnosed with mild depression. Neither was exactly a shock. My granddad was told he had lung cancer the previous year, and we all knew he wasn’t going to get better. It was just a matter of time. As for the depression, it runs in the family, with my granddad, dad, and brother all having been diagnosed before me. All the same, occurring so close together, the two events knocked me back significantly.

Next came the dreaded anti-depressants. I was warned, both by my brother and every online forum I visited, that I would almost certainly feel worse before I felt better. Still, nothing prepared me for that first month after I started on the medication, when I was so tired I could have slept all day, and could scarcely eat for the constant nausea. On the worst days, it seemed impossible that I would ever be myself again, let alone have the motivation to write. It was a horrible place to be, and I sincerely hope I never return there.

That was five months ago now, and I can honestly say I feel like a different person. Clichéd, I know, but true nonetheless. My inspiration is back in full force, and I’m currently working on some short stories, which I’m hoping to submit for inclusion in anthologies over the next few months. Writing short fiction is proving the perfect way to ease me back into the swing, as well as giving me time to outline an idea I have for a trilogy set in an exclusive art academy in the English countryside. I can’t put into words just how amazing it feels to have my muse back, and one thing’s for sure… I’ll never take him for granted again.

Oh, and in addition to my writing projects, those of you who follow my book blog over at Boys on the Brink will be pleased to know it’s up and running again. To kick things off, I’m offering one reader the chance to win an eBook copy of Choices by Jamie Mayfield so be sure to check that out if you’re interested.

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, and creative 2014!

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