A small miracle happened to me recently. I held my book – the book that I’ve been working on for several years – in my hand for the first time. A long gestation, a sometimes painful labour and at last it was delivered. It was an overwhelming feeling, looking at this thing I had created, to run my fingers over its cover, to flick through its pages, to read my words on those pages. It was the realisation of my longest held and most fervent ambition. My maternal grandmother, herself a writer, and heroine of my childhood set me on the writing path and it’s been a lifelong, life-saving occupation for me. But for so many years it had to take a back seat. It had to be fitted in around family and working life – and it often got squeezed out. That all changed at the end/beginning of the millennium, after I got the ultimate wake-up call – i.e. intimations of my mortality in the shape of a cancer diagnosis. It was brought home to me that tomorrow doesn’t always come and the procrastinating had to stop. I promised the fates that if I survived the cancer I’d get down to some serious writing.
I beat the ovarian cancer and so had to keep my side of the deal. Writing still had to fit around work and family – but it was no longer squeezed out – priorities were reordered and the hard work began.
And now it’s here – my wonderful, beautiful first novel is here. It’s fully formed and it has gone off into the world on its own. It will now have to jostle for readers, for its place on the bookshelf – and I can only watch and support at a distance. I love my book and I want others to love it too. I’m thrilled, exhilirated and absolutely bloody terrified. I’ve never felt so proud and I’ve never felt so vulnerable.
So there you have it. Of course there’s more to the journey, more to the story than that and I hope to share more bits of it with you as I blog. I’m at the beginning of a whole new adventure and it’ll be good to have you along for the ride.