Wow last blog of 2015 – already? End of year has come about very quickly hasn’t it. It’s sped by as time tends to do.
It’s been a jam packed one too! Feels like I’ve had a lot thrown at me this year. Among others I’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, had to have our beloved pooch put to sleep, been to Harrogate and Newcastle for the crime festivals, been accepted for an author panel at crime fest in 2016, had my 6th wedding anniversary, 38th birthday, had the cover design through for my first novel (which will be revealed soon!!) and almost finished my 4th novel. Busy, heart wrenching at times, sad at times, and amazingly happy at other times. It’s been a year of ups and downs, and not just for me. The country has been rocked by government funding cuts, influx of refugees fleeing the most awful of circumstances, and more recently insane flooding that has left many people without homes. Tolkien said it best – ‘the world is changed’.
But even despite all of this I’ve made time to smile – granted at times it’s been harder than at other times. But I’ve done it. As often and widely as I could. I’ve been told several times off different people this year that they find my blog inspiring, and I hope this is still the case. I thoroughly enjoy letting you lovely readers see into a little of my life – and I look forward to interacting and building friendships with each and every one of you in 2016. If I thought this year was a busy one, next year will be even more so.
Writing is the strangest thing – there’s a little known story about how I came to be so focussed on writing. As a child I wrote constantly – little books that I stapled together and gave to my favourite teacher. I’ve always loved writing poetry and have all the poems I’ve ever written in notebooks hidden away at home. When I was 17 I wrote my first novel – the one that will never see the light of day as it was a complete rip off of an old tv show, Airwolf, though to be fair I had no idea about copyright back then. It has pride of place in its handwritten form on my notebook shelf. Then, as I got older and life got in the way, I found I focussed more on poetry again – usually as a means of therapy for when I was feeling low or stressed. More notebooks were filled with poems no one would ever read. About 5 years ago I went to see a psychic – I take everything with a pinch of salt but am of the opinion that some are real and can tell an awful lot about a person. I’ll not go into pros and cons – it’s up to you if you believe or not. Anyway this particular psychic who I’ve seen a couple of times since, asked me in the most astounded tone ‘why aren’t you writing? You were born to write and you’re not doing it. Why not?’ He actually inserted several swear words which I’ve purposefully left out but you get the gist. His absolute horror got me thinking – why wasn’t I writing? I had always loved it. I’d always written a journal and poems and enjoyed writing the stories and finding ways into other worlds and lives with a pen and paper. And what was stopping me anyway? Well the answer to that one, after a month or two of careful thinking, was obvious. The only thing stopping me was me.
Once I realised this I decided to go to Uni and do my masters – not in crime scene science which is the subject I hold my Bsc in, but in creative writing. Even when I started I think I knew I’d end up being a crime writer. The old adage of write what you know. But I attended all the modules – some I did better than others in – my screenwriting module turned out to be the one I got my highest grades in, and funnily enough my poetry module was awful! Granted the tutor essentially said I was crap and would never write anything let alone poetry, but it was my worst module for so many other reasons too. Have to say though – he knocked my confidence so much I wondered for a long time whether I had what it takes to be a writer. It took months for me to realise that I could do anything I wanted. I guess since my novel comes out next year that I was right to believe in myself even when he clearly didn’t.
Anyway suffice to say, a psychic believed in me hence why I started the course, my thesis supervisor believed in me enough that I got great grades for the first 15000 words of my first novel, and finally I believed in me enough to continue with it. I still have some doubt there – I wonder if people will like it, whether I’ll ever be able to speak about writing and inspire other people to follow their dreams, and sometimes I wonder if it’s actually any good, the same as many writers. But it feels amazing to know I’ve achieved my goals for 2015, and can rest knowing I’ll hopefully continue on my journey into 2016.
My hopes for 2016 are simple – to be happy, to make my friends and family as happy as I can, and to keep smiling. I hope it’ll be an easier year for those who’ve had a tough one, I hope to attract even more readers and friends. And I hope you all keep smiling too. Take care friends. I’ll see you in the new year. X