Life is the greatest book you'll ever write!

I’m not a movie star. I’m not a member of royalty. I’m not a celebrity. I’m not even a best-selling author (yet!). That doesn’t mean I don’t have a life – and quite an interesting life at that. It wouldn’t be the choice of many people and to be honest it wasn’t my choice either, but it’s the life I’ve been given and it has recently changed the way I see the world in a multitude of ways.

I had expected my next few years to be full of research and writing, edits and rewrites, promotion and communication. That was supposed to give me the basis of a successful writing career with a more organised schedule and things were going according to plan when life suddenly got in the way.

It is a well-known fact that many authors prefer solitude and peace while writing but this doesn’t mean they live like hermits. They still have family and friends, but these people usually accept that they must fall down the list of priorities as the deadline for a piece of writing approaches. Until the worst happens.

When someone you love develops health issues and requires much more of your time, you think nothing of dropping everything to be at their side and help in any way you can. This is just as true for authors, despite their usual avoidance behaviour. It may not be easy to leave a half-finished project, but it pales into insignificance when life throws a curve ball and makes you see what is more important.

Last year life threw that curve ball at me and my writing stopped instantaneously.

In the darkest times, when I didn’t know what I was dealing with or how to get the right kind of help, I thought life was cruel and so exhausting that I was never going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My life in those days was like living in a bubble of stress and frustration while the huge padlock made sure I was trapped in that routine without hope of returning to the life I thought I should be living.

Happily, I have now learned to reduce the stress and get extra help to overcome the frustration. I am no longer trapped in that bubble and I am starting to see that distant light which assures me I will soon be back in the saddle doing the job that I love.

When I look back at those early days of confusion, I no longer see the despair and devastation which I experienced on the surface. I can now appreciate the emotional upheaval from another perspective and recognise how those events gave me a greater understanding of devotion, determination and durability.

I will be happy to slowly but surely find my way back to writing and publishing more stories, but I will do so knowing that my understanding of the human psyche has grown in such a way that I may phrase comments slightly differently and with more depth. A broken leg makes a person realise that they will have to walk gently, a broken heart makes a person realise that they must tread gently with other peoples’ feelings.

I thought my life was heading in a certain direction and I swept aside many diversions to stay on that path, until I was handed an obligation that couldn’t be ignored. Instead of feeling that my dream had been destroyed and there was nothing but a dark hole devouring me, I can see that the experiences I endured have changed my view on the world and I feel much stronger with a more compassionate understanding of society.

If someone had asked me to write about a devastating and life-changing experience a couple of years ago I would have found it a very difficult assignment. Now I know that the ups and downs of life are not just something to be endured, they are something to appreciate, learn from and live alongside on a day to day basis.

I will carry my experiences into my writing with a new appreciation of how life can change in an instant. It has to be the best prompt for writing there is and that’s why I believe it will give me the most perfect situations for the greatest book I could ever write – life!

Stephanie xx
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Published on February 15, 2018 07:23
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