Tuesday, 1 April 2014

If I can do it, so can you….how I redefined myself...

Change is always a daunting prospect for all of us. Hand on heart, I don’t think many of us like to change things too much. I know I never did. I also had the added pressure that I didn’t have a second person bringing in an income to keep us afloat whilst I changed my life. It was always a gamble that would directly affect my children’s lives. I am sure some of my critics would argue that I was selfish in following my dreams without any safety net. However, when you are diagnosed with an illness it sort of puts your whole life into perspective.

Suddenly I was thrown into the world of the unknown and that was my catalyst for change. I was a successful Insurance Broker but knew the long distances and time away from my family was not something I wanted to continue. I was unhappy, miserable in fact. I did a lot of soul searching and at first discounted leaving my job because of the lack of security. Unfortunately my hand was forced and it was time to make that change.

I wanted to spread my wings and leave my individual stamp on this earth. I wanted more of a legacy than two gorgeous children and let’s face it, if we bring them up right, one day they fly the nest. The prospect of being alone with no-one and being deaf absolutely petrified me.

I enrolled on a Business Information Systems course at Leeds Metropolitan University and received an unconditional offer. I was also eligible for a student loan and grant. The plan was starting to come together. 

For three years I slogged hard and came away with a 1st class honours degree and the McGraw Hill outstanding achievement award for best results on a computing course. Graduating at forty three year old is quite an exhilarating experience.

After graduation I didn’t know what to do again. I was at a crossroads in my life once more. With the unpredictability of my illness I needed something that would fit around the bouts of dizziness and the great social life my kids have! 

On Boxing Day I finished reading Wuthering Heights and really, really enjoyed it AGAIN but more so this time. I picked up my laptop and started to write a love story involving a character called Annie. She was my heroine. I also knew I wanted to include rugby league. For three solid days I formulated the characters and continued to write. I can honestly say I had no idea where the story was going, who would be included and it wasn’t until I had written the first six chapters that the book was turned into a crime novel. Chapter three became Chapter One and so Beyond the Past was born.

I know it’s unorthodox and some writers are probably shaking their head in disgust reading this but that is how my writing career started. Once the book was written I set up the website and the blog and started to put myself out there, so to speak.

My children have been so supportive. I even asked if they wanted me to use a pen name (you know how children find their parents embarrassing but they didn’t). They wanted me to write and follow my dreams just as I encourage them to follow theirs.

I am incredibly proud how far I have come in such a short space of time and keep having to pinch myself when I get up on a morning and have the pleasure in doing something that I absolutely love. And I couldn’t have done that without the support of my children, my publishers and all of you.

Go on have a go and follow your dreams.......

p.s. my new found confidence has led me to follow my other beliefs too #JFT96 God Bless


  1. I love hearing about other writers' process. I don't think there is a "right" way because it does seem more like a journey. That you read "Wuthering Heights," sat down with a character and wanted to include the rugby league is somehow incredibly inspiring! My son-in-law has Menieres, and yet he, too pursues his dreams (he's a geologist). Great post! Cheers to following dreams!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I like to know how other writers develop their art too. Very best wishes to you :)