I have never written a blog before.
I did write a diary every day for many years throughout my youth but that served the purpose of channeling my teenage angst – I burnt them all several years ago in a dustbin incinerator in my back garden. Not that they contained evidence of any wild secrets I must add – but I did cringe at the thought of my future family ever reading the ramblings of my teenage / student / backpacking self: In love, out of love, betrayed, jealous, heartbroken, in love, out of love… The diary cremation was quite a surreal occasion, as though I was overseeing the funeral pyre on which the anxieties of my younger self dissolved into flames. It was strangely therapeutic!
Having taken such drastic action to rid my life of decades worth of my own written drivel, you’ll understand a little why writing a blog terrifies me slightly. I guess it’s the thought of my adult ramblings being available to anyone that may be vaguely interested – I’m plenty critical of myself so why in the world would I wish to make a permanent record of that on the int’net??
Well, here goes…
As well as a diary I also grew up with an ever evolving ‘bucket list’. I’ve always been a bit of a list writer too but the bucket list came about when I realised the extent of my dear Mum’s debilitating illness and with it the realisation that life is indeed short, that we only live once, and while I can, I am damn well going to make the most of it the best I can! (I’ll come back to my Mum on another blog day – I don’t want to set off with an X Factor style sob story because at the end of the day we’ve all got one – at least). So, the bucket list began: the countries I hoped to visit, achievements I wanted to tick off, challenges I set myself: get my degree, overcome my fear of flying, travel to Australia, learn to scuba dive, skydive and so on. But one item that featured throughout was to write and illustrate a children’s story. When setting myself this task I wasn’t particularly clear about whether the story should be published before I could consider the item ‘complete’ in my list but hey ho – that would obviously be the ideal end result!
It’s a desire that has remained with me over the years, and whilst teaching in a Pupil Referral Until in West London my colleagues and I joked about how the dramas of each day would undoubtedly provide endless humorous and eye opening material for a novel about the educationally excluded teens and ‘gangstas’ that we taught and mentored. A children’s story was in my sights however but the days of discussion with emotionally challenged adolescents did lead me to the idea of producing a short story focusing on self esteem or similar. My teaching background has taught me the power of the book in addressing life’s tricky issues with children and young people; the ability of literature to influence, challenge and motivate fascinates me – especially when dealing with the young mind. And self esteem is, in my opinion, something that can falter early on in life and remain damaged for whatever reason, thus affecting ones’ state of mind and positive outcomes in adult life.
So here it is. I made a break from my career in education upon the birth of our first daughter and am now a Mediator (as in conflict resolution not meditation as in deep relaxation – although learning how to do that properly is also on my bucket list). During the pregnancy of our second daughter I felt so utterly ghastly that my enthusiasm for facing battling colleagues or warring neighbours was somewhat non existent, so I dedicated any free time that I had to getting my ideas for my book on paper.
My children’s story – short, simply formed and illustrated by me – is available to pre order from Friday March 28th through http://www.britainsnextbestseller.co.uk. If I reach my pre order target I will get a publishing deal… and lots of lovely ickle people, teachers, and parents can use it to get talking about action we can take individually and together to work towards living happily ever after.
My blog is going to be about my journey through the pre order phase… and anything related to it that I think you, my reader and hopefully a ‘pre order-er’ may find vaguely interesting!
Thank you for reading. X