Not going to the London Book Fair

The best laid plans….

Meaning to go to the London Book Fair, the last day of which is today, I have put it off until – oh! Is it this week? – it has flown past me, books and all. I’m not going to the London Book Fair this year because I’ve been busy getting my priorities sorted out first: there’s very little point organising the whole thing, laying plans, if the bedrock of one’s purpose is not well set – so many people are ready, willing and keen to set one down, to make one see sense, be realistic and to work ever harder…it is all too easy to get caught up in the doing of it, without pausing to consider whether one wants to, needs to, or should, at a particular point in time.

Yes, and the last few years have not been devoid of other challenges, the sort that come winging out and slug one on the back of the head at a moment’s notice.

In learning to swing with the punches I have learned a great deal: that I don’t have to go anywhere unless I can see a good reason to do so; that home life is fun and precious to me; that life is about more than chasing the dream, although that comes in handy sometimes and chasing is good exercise; that my opinions are as good, as variable and as valid as anyone’s; that time will often tell me what to do, so that I don’t need to worry so much; that life will happen whether I want it to, so whether it is raining or sunny, I had best be happy. After all, who knows when the next test will come along?

All things being equal, is it not better to be as happy as possible? Daughter wants collected from school because it’s raining – yes, I know, I’ve been out, and done a huge shopping, and carted that and a sodden laundry which I’d had on the line, into the house to put away, spin and hang up, again. And now I have to have something to eat, get a bit of work done, and fetch daughter. I could find all that taxing, troubling, irritating, but I’m not going to.

Confidence is about more than knowing we can do something. It is about doing it, no matter what other people think, say or do. Just doing it, because.

On Saturday, I’m giving a short workshop  at the Scottish Association of Writers (SAW) Conference  in Cumbernauld on writing memoir and autobiography. I’m looking forward to that very much. Wish me luck!

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