What a Difference a Year Makes

As I sit here in my study with my flask of coffee, as my electric is off for the next few hours, I have decided to write a long overdue blog – inspired by John Jelly’s Blogging for Authors workshop.

The trouble is, with no electricity, whilst I have the battery life in my laptop, I do not have any broadband and so am unable to do the research I need. Before you jump up and down and scream “LIBRARY”, dear reader, I am housebound due to workmen.

Instead, I have decided to share with you the changes that have taken place in my life over the last 12 months, in the hope of inspiring, instilling faith or simple conviction that it is possible for your life to completely turn around in just one year – mine has!

A year ago I was pretty much at rock bottom (not for the first time either) and I was struggling to see a way out. I was in an unhealthy relationship, I was on a project at work which was mentally and physically sapping the life out of me, I was living in a house I loved which was financially keeping me tied to a job I no longer enjoyed, and I was isolated from the wider writing community. I was stuck in a place I had been desperately trying to get out of since 2012, if not before.

My first tentative step on the road to change came through the relaunch of my debut novel, Bonds, where I had to step outside my comfort zone and put myself in front of prospective readers and bare my soul – my writing one at least! These author events, together with my involvement in Wrexham’s Carnival of Words (thanks to Dave McCall and Sue Miller) exposed me to a whole new world of like-minded readers and writers, who are mutually supportive and whom I am proud to call friends (you know who you are).

My writing career has gone from strength to strength since then and I have recently signed a publishing contract with a US based publisher, Crimson Cloak Publishing.

My second step on the road to change was to call a halt to what can only be described as a one-sided and very unhealthy relationship. This was an emotional roller coaster, but I held firm and didn’t cave. Coming back into the light allowed me to discover a mutually supportive and healthy relationship, reinforcing my belief that decent guys do exist.

My third step on my road to change was largely outside of my control. After 18 months, multiple viewers and several bizarre excuses (my favourite being – the sun is in the wrong place!), my house finally sold and the financial noose around my neck disappeared. I am now settled in a cosier, financially unburdened home and I couldn’t be happier!

My final step on my road to change is still unfolding as I type. From the beginning of March, I will be leaving the rat race and no more will my working life be under the control of others. From 1 March I will be fully in control of my own life and be my own boss, whichever form that may take ;-).

It’s only when I step back and look at the differences between where I was and where I am now, that I can fully appreciate how far I’ve come and marvel at what can actually be accomplished in 365 days.

I am not writing this as a “how to” guide, as I do not have the miracle answers and am quite certain no one does, despite what they say in the books that fly off the shelves. I am simply saying that if you have the courage, the desire and the willpower to put one foot in front of the other, your goal forefront in your mind, then you can achieve it. Believe in yourself!

Some people have put my last year down to my having a mid-life crisis and maybe I am, but it is all positive. I am the happiest and most contented I have ever been and am looking forward to a different future.

As I flick through the notebook from 2012 when I sat, desperate and alone, and poured my heart out into it, I realise that I have achieved everything I wrote down in that little book.

I have finally found my beat and will now always walk in time.

I would love to hear your thoughts and your stories, dear reader, so please get in touch via my contact page.

May fear protect you when the darkness comes.

Til next time.