My heart was pounding. I felt slightly nauseous. Even sweating a little. This was Big News. I was about to finally confirm my chosen career in life. Yes, it had taken a while. At almost 30 years old you would think I had it sorted. But, life never quite works out the way you expect. I had been naïve, ill-advised, distracted by other activities, and generally lacking in confidence enough to do what I really wanted. Eventually, I went for it. I started writing. And once I started for real, I mean being a serious, active, doing it writer, I knew this was the start of a beautiful journey.
My first task was to convince my husband that I should give up my full time paid job, take on a part time job closer to home, and spend my free time writing to develop my career. That took a lot of courage actually, especially since we were planning a wedding at the time and were very busy with time-consuming, and expensive, tasks. We had taken on a mortgage for our first home. The house needed (and still does need) a lot of repair work. It’s a very old house. But that was all inconsequential. I had released the demon, so to speak, and the demon was demanding that I be a writer.
My parents knew that I enjoyed writing. They knew I was an avid reader. It was my mother who introduced me to the library from a young age, and continued to encourage my creativity as I grew older. I excelled at English and creative writing classes in school. I chose to do a degree in Media Studies at university. Everything was intended to see me follow through into a creative writing career. But, as I mentioned, I got distracted. And I never quite had the guts to write a story that I would actually show to people, one that could be published and released into the public domain.
It had to happen eventually. Something clicked, I did a lot of soul searching and spiritual work, and finally I decided to go for it. I submitted my first short story to a competition for an anthology. It was accepted. I submitted a story to another anthology. That publisher came back and asked if I had any other stories to publish. They soon helped me to bring Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) out into the world, followed soon after by its sequels, Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel) and Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel).
Even now, with four published novels behind me, and several short stories around and about, I struggle with the concept of calling myself a writer. Well, I did. I don’t any more. It took me a while to accept that I wouldn't necessarily earn millions of pounds in royalties overnight. Authors had always been these mysterious, elevated entities that existed in a world of which I could never be accepted. Well, now I am there. I am an author. And for those of you reading this who are struggling with the demand for your writing and your ‘day job’ I say this: Be proud of who you are. Believe in your stories. They are important. And they will be told, to the right people, at the right time. Have a lovely week!