Almost ten years and counting
Welcome to December. I can’t say I’m sorry, exactly, to see 2016 coming to a close….
I started writing seriously in 2007, and, as may be a common experience with writers, Trapped was not my first attempt at book-length penmanship. That honour belongs to my first book, Happiness Matters, which, if anyone is interested, is submission ready. (It makes me laugh to read occasional reviews of Trapped commenting, ‘my God, she’s pessimistic, isn’t she?’ or words to that effect, because no, I’m not, though for a fairly long time, my life and my world were.) Trapped is about a period of my life that is thankfully over, and which I look back on with a mixture of sadness and awe.
I’m very glad that I have arrived here, now, with so many apparent lessons behind me. I can’t say what I’ve learned from them, whether I have picked up what I was supposed to, or whether I have arrived where I am supposed to be. But after a decade of what has felt a bit like drill school, I feel an overwhelming, almost paralysing relief, to have arrived here in one piece. I don’t care about being ten years older, either.
In what feels like an accelerated learning course for people who have spent too long hiding in books and now need to cram a life’s worth of maturing lessons as quickly as possible I can say that yes, the effort has been worth it, but please don’t make me do it again. Which is another way of saying, yes, I would do it all again if I had to, but I’m very glad that won’t be necessary.
People read Trapped and, understandably, think they know me. But although the book attempts to cover forty years of one life in under two hundred pages, readers only glimpse a partial point of view of that one life, a view has become fixed as at the time of writing, and that I trust and hope has grown.
I have changed and moved on – thankfully – and the lessons I have collected so painfully, I hope make me a kinder, more patient woman, willing and ready to deal with what comes next. As we turn our attention away from the strange happenings of this year towards what is coming in 2017, let us hope that our optimism shines, and makes miracles for all of us.