Hope for the future

Enjoying a convivial meal with my family – my mother, my sister and her family, as well as hubby and daughter – I happened to ask cousin Frederick, “Who said, ‘plan your work, every day, then work your plan’?” He looked suitably enquiring – how generous of him– as I answered, “Margaret Thatcher!” hoping he might look suitably interested.

I am not by nature a conservative, but I do believe in offering credit where it is due, and as an author who should spend more time writing, I thought that what Margaret said was rather apposite to my situation. But Frederick is not only creative, he’s perceptive too. He answered, “But what about inspiration?” entirely clear that without inspiration, nothing is really going to work out, is it? Hard graft answers creativity, but is not the spark that lights the fire.

Truly, that truth had escaped me; and I doffed my cap – metaphorically, there wasn’t room at the table for anything grander – and thanked him for his insight. We need inspiration and we need to watch and honour those creative impulses, without which hard work becomes an empty sort of gesture.

I hope that the new year brings us all gifts and challenges that enrich our lives. Seeing the intelligence and wit or my daughter and her cousins, in awe of the progress my mother makes as she adjusts to her new normality, I am reminded, again, that we don’t need to worry about other people, so much as understand and realise the potential that we hold within ourselves to make a difference. Even a small step forward is better than none.

I wish you all the best for 2018. I shall be working hard, and have already made some ambitious plans, including visiting the London Book Fair in April, and Frankfurt Buchmesse in October. I might say I have been inspired to make these visits and in the meantime, I shall be putting in the hard work to get the best out of both events.

In love and peace.

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