A couple of years ago, I found myself at a crisis point. After a series of ‘right’ decisions that had turned out wrong, I ended up flat on my backside wondering who I was and who I wanted to be. I worried that when I grew old, I’d look back on my life with regret that I hadn’t done something that filled me up. I’d always wanted to be someone creative, but didn’t think that I actually was.
At the same time, I had 25,000 words of a manuscript that somehow seemed to tap in to the very restlessness that I felt. Over the next few months, while I was battling with my own inner demons, I pulled the manuscript out and began working on it.
It wasn’t easy. I didn’t have a lot of time to commit to it, but I chipped away at it, keeping it in my mind as something I had to finish. As it grew, it built up its own momentum. As I read more about how other writers write, I played around and learnt more about how I write, and eventually, I finished the whole thing.
In working to produce that manuscript, I seemed to find something that grounded me. Instead of being a peripheral activity, writing is now the centre of my personal life, deeply important to me. Now when I’m old, I’ll have answers to my questions. Even if I don’t get published, I will have spent my life crafting stories, and that’s more than I dreamed.