At the age of 13, I would sit for hours tap tapping away on my little Brother typewriter in my parents front room, pretending to be an author. Ohhhhhhhh the stories I would make up..!!
But, to my surprise, my English teacher took my hobby seriously and encouraged me to write. This spurred me on and I wrote and wrote… until of course I went to see my Careers Advice Officer at the age of 15 who told me that I needed to get back in the real world, where maybe I’d find a real job.
So that’s what I did.
I left school and worked.
I’ve worked in Oral Surgery as a nurse, I’ve worked as a Sales Assistant selling televisions, I even worked in a Photograph developing shop where I would cut the negatives up into strips of six (which was enthralling), but I must say I was never out of work. I even worked as a model for a few years and yes I do still have the photo’s … here’s just one of them.
For the past twenty years I’ve worked for Intec Office Systems Ltd, a stationery and office supplies and office furniture company where I joined the company doing a few deliveries and a bit of sales. Again, I worked hard and ten years ago, I worked my way up to being the Sales Director.
Along the way, I’ve had various hobbies. I played the tenor horn in a brass band, did Tae Kwon do and Kick Boxing.. In 1987, I had a go at scuba diving and ended up loving it so much I worked my way through all the grades, all the exams and all the jumping in so many lakes and seas with water temperature of as little as 4 degrees to become a PADI Staff Instructor (which means I’m qualified to teach divers to become Instructors for themselves).
I often look back and think “Wow… you’ve done a lot” but back there in the filing cabinet that is my mind; I’ve always had the niggling thought that one day… maybe… just maybe I might become an author.
So, last year I made the commitment. I was going to write a book. I then jumped on the biggest roller coaster ride of my life…without a track… and I’m so pleased that I did.
My Working In Progress (WIP) Broken Jigsaw has made me laugh, cry and throw things at walls.
There are some days that I am so high, you wouldn’t be able to pull me off the ceiling if you tried, yet other days where I crash down to the ground and I could easily stay in bed and ignore the world.
Last year, I had my WIP Broken Jigsaw critiqued. I can honestly say, that day I could have easily never wrote again.
The critique was professional, honest and truthful, it just wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I sulked, I cried, I kicked a few walls, buried myself in heaps of duvet for days and then I picked up the laptop and re-wrote the book.
And then, to my surprise in September 2013, Broken Jigsaw was shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award…. Whoop Whoop… I was up on the ceiling again. I didn’t win, but ohhhhhhhh what an amazing feeling just to be short listed.
Any one who says they could write a book, go for it. But please don’t try to get off the roller coaster once you’re on it and expect it to be a fast and furious ride. Writing is the most addictive thing I ever did and it’s worth every up and down of emotion that you feel.
I know there is still work to do. But, you never know… one day Broken Jigsaw may actually becomes a real life published book that I can hold in my hand.