DSC_0176I have two children and I was very lucky not to have to work when they were small. Of course, there were days when I thought I might go mad with only two young children for company but mostly, I just enjoyed that time whilst I could. Once my youngest was at school though, I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, finally deciding that I should retrain as a teacher. I had thought about it many times in the past but it was only through volunteering in my children’s school that I came to realise that this was a job I could do and perhaps enjoy.

A year ago, I had been teaching for about four years when a personal crisis came in the family. This only confirmed for me what I had been thinking for some time, which was that my own family and my own life, were coming second to my job. As anyone who is a teacher knows, it can be all-consuming. You never get to the end of your to-do list and the paperwork is overwhelming at the best of times. Add to this the constant scrutiny and it can feel like a very miserable job indeed. I made a decision then that I would ask to go part-time. Whilst I waited to hear the school’s decision and I struggled to deal with the personal crisis, I started to write my novel.
Writing became an escape for me. I found it calming and therapeutic to write and in no time at all, I had a complete first draft on my hands. Suddenly, a new world had opened up before me and I wanted to know more about it. In September last year, I switched to part-time working and now, on my two days off from work, I try and write as much as possible and I try to write/edit on every other day as well. My life feels more balanced and I have more time and energy for my own family.

My ultimate goal is to publish my novel now and to finish the other one I’m in the middle of writing. A lot of hard work lies between now and then but whilst writing continues to help me make sense of my life and what I want from it, I will keep on doing it. I’m not afraid of the hard work at all, although it is daunting to be learning something new (as I’ve documented on my blog here 😉 ) but with each achievement comes satisfaction and that makes it all worth it. This week, I finished my one page synopsis for example and sent it with the first two chapters of my novel to the Bath Novel Award competition. It was a long hard slog writing that synopsis but now I’ve done it, it feels great and I feel ready to go back to my rewriting.

So, in summary, I started writing to help me through a difficult time in my life and now that I have passed through that crisis and come out the other side, I am glad to say, I find myself doing something so enjoyable that my only question is why didn’t I do it earlier? Who knows? But I truly believe that now is my time to spread my wings through writing and I plan to make the most of it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you’d like to share your story about why you started writing below in the comments, I’d love to hear it.


6 Comments on Why I Write

  1. Re no knowing why you didn’t start earlier – I know what you mean! I wrote loads between 1993 and 2000, but then stopped – thank goodness that when I met my husband (not my first!) in 2009 he read some stuff I’d written and encouraged me to start again. I could make the excuse that my life was too busy before, but then I read about people like you who manage to fit it in with jobs and children, and I know it’s a shabby one! Good luck with the competition x

    • Thanks, Terry. I wish now that I’d written when the children were little, I had the time then and who knows what might have happened if I had. There’s no point in regrets, I guess, I’ll just have to hope that it all comes good now 😉

  2. You go girl! I remember those days. But when I had young kids, there were no Intertubes for blogging and networking. I had to settle for publishing in the church newsletter. They were nice folks, though, and the encouragement they gave me made me realize I was a memoirist and a storyteller.

    • Thanks for your comment, Paula. It’s a tricky balancing act but there’s only so much of you and it feels so good having prioritised where to focus my efforts. I look forward to reading your site and finding out more about you 🙂

  3. It’s amazing that so many of us have similar stories. It comforts me to know that I’m not alone in this! We writers need to stick together. Good luck with the competition (though I’m sure you won’t need it) 🙂

    • Me too 🙂 Thanks for your good wishes. I don’t have high expectations, I just thought I’d give it a try. Nothing to lose at this stage 😉

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