How to share my news and write a Christmas post? With my chicks soon gathering back in the nest and a busy time for many, I’ll keep it short (but hopefully sweet) from my heart straight to yours…
A few weeks ago, I happened to walk past the door of the law firm where I had once worked. It would not have meant much, except for me, it was a fleeting yet profound moment.
I walked out of that door for the last time six years ago when I lost my job, having been made redundant due to office closure. My youngest was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome & Graves Disease earlier that same year.
But that day in 2012, I left the building with new resolve in my heart. Knowing I could no longer work in paid employment in my new role as full-time mum & carer, I vowed to squeeze as much time as I could to get down on paper the book that had churned inside me some 30 years…
In January, 2013, I started my blog. Four months later, I typed the first words of my memoir. The title didn’t come to me until I bashed out a bloated first draft over eighteen months.
From September 2014, I hit the first of endless rewrites; five full drafts and four years later, a few weeks ago – November 13th, to be precise – I typed, ‘The End’.
My finger hovered over ‘send’ for a minute or so before I clicked and let it go to the editor helping me with the next stage to publication.
Dear friends, I flung myself over that finish line as elation coursed through me. But then I broke down and cried. Soon after, I went into town on that bright, chilly day, and by strange coincidence walked past that door and it hit me then with full force…I’ve done it, I’ve actually done it. After five years and a half years, my memoir, ‘Stranger in a White Dress‘, is now a real book.
I wanted to shout it from the rooftops to everybody I walked by that day in town, to some odd looks I’m sure if I had, but I just smiled to myself as I kept walking, not quite believing what had just happened.
A couple of days later, I crashed and burned and got ill and it took me a while to recover. The last push was particularly brutal; binge writing does a number on your brain, honestly!
Frustration and anguish and the hell of writer’s block whacked me more than once when a barrage of challenges and derailments set me back, as life does. Not least of all losing my dad in 2016 when I couldn’t write at all for a while. The creative process is as fragile as it is passionate, punishing at times, as many of you know.
But nobody makes us do it. I admit that the writing took over my life, for a while…
And I know it isn’t the answer to world peace, but it’s incredibly important to me, and what good is something that personally meaningful if it can’t be shared?
Thank you so much, dear friends, readers, anyone who has read a single word on this blog or wanted to know about my memoir, for your amazing support and interest. I could not have got this far without you. Now I know why it can take years to write a book! More work to come, I know, but I’ve got this far.
Since then, I’m excited to report that I’ve now got my edits back, greatly encouraged and look forward to working on them in the New Year. I also have more travel pics/posts for the Summerhouse, long delayed.
2018 turned out to be the year I crossed one finish line; the next will be the biggest one of all, to publication. I started this blog to share my dream and maybe inspire others to never give up on theirs, no matter how long it takes to get there. One word, one day at a time.
Until then, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year…
See you in 2019!
Love, Sherri x