People sometimes wonder why I decided to start writing, after all, my CV is cram-packed with healthcare and psychology related experience. I love psychology and as my friends and family know I am always keen to get the root of a problem and pull it out.
I suppose this is where my love of writing comes from. I am not someone who finds conversation easy. It’s often after the argument/debate/hissy fit that I’ll suddenly realise ‘Damn, I should have said….’ but nevertheless, I can’t help myself digging, even though I know it can be self-destructive.
That is why writing is magic. If I could have all my important conversations via essay I would be very happy. Never again would I be laid awake on a night wishing I would have said something else, because all I have to do is pull out my lap top and add it in. Ta Da!
It was very much the same for me when I wrote my first novel. I could really get in there and perfect it, filling in a bit here, taking out a bit there until it is polished and as perfect as I can make it. There’s something very soothing about printing out 300+ pages and having a stack of written words in front of you… or maybe that’s just me.
It’s also an incredibly good distraction when things get too much to deal with and I started writing seriously during a very difficult time. Over the space of three years I became a single parent, started a business, completed a post-grad and teaching course, lost two grandparents and a great-grandparent, had a house sale fall through, another relationship breakdown, my son diagnosed with autism and to top it all off I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder myself.
I genuinely believe that it was writing that got me through that time as I could block everything else out and have control over something, even if that something was as small as re-reading the same sentence over and over. Early on in that time was when I decided to write seriously.
I strongly urge anyone who is going through a hard time to find something, anything that they can lose themselves in: Art, music, poetry, anything that can take the edge off the trouble in a healthy way.
It became clear to me that being a single parent and a career woman was not a possibility for me. (I have so much respect for the single parents out there who manage a full time job as well; the parenting part alone is like 2 full time jobs.) I decided it was time I focused on something which would allow me to spend as much time with my boy as possible.
I had always written poems, essays and even kept a diary and my head was always buzzing with new ideas for stories, (I am perfectly happy to admit I am a drama queen.) so I decided I had nothing to lose. I bit the bullet and started self-studying while also setting up a small laundry and ironing service to enable me to pay the bills.
I am confident that eventually I will get published. My work may not be JK Rowling or George RR Martin-eske but there is much worse work out there. I am currently going through the arduous task of agent hunting, but query number 73 wasn’t a no. It wasn’t a yes either but a ‘get in touch after X-mas’ which was enough of a boost to keep me plodding on through those listings.