Friday, 17 May 2019
Writing is a huge part of my coping strategy. When I was first taken ill when things went wrong following the surgery and I couldn't eat. My world was tumbling down around me. I had to keep going, I was a single parent with three children. My escape valve was to write about it at the time. No one ever saw those scribblings, nor will they ever. But it rekindled my love of writing which is why I went to university and my life changed.
I am lucky in that I don't have to write because my world is falling to pieces anymore, but there are times I have to write because I am facing difficult and stressful situations at work or with my family. Those are snippets and witterings, not focused and dedicated writing. It is the focused and dedicated writing that I love doing.
I was lucky enough to have a novel published last summer (Flight published by Firefly Press). It was the fourth novel I had written, the first one to make it to the finishing post. I feel so well mentally when I can write regularly and get into writing a novel. I feel a great weight lift off and a good friend always says to me, 'I know when you are writing because you are in your happy place.'
It sounds simple then, doesn't it? If it makes you feel good then write every day, but it is not that easy. The nature of my job means that my head is full of other people's words. I am up against tight marking deadlines often. I am pressurised and the jobs are stressful. Not exactly conducive for sitting down and getting into the right headspace for writing. My head feels fractured.
I think I have mentioned this before, if I do get a moment to write, I take what I see as a Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending using precious metal like gold, whereas in my case I mend my fractured mind by reading poetry before I start writing. Poetry is my precious metal.
I know if I can write I will feel better. Stronger, brighter, happier. More able to cope with whatever life throws at me. Find the strategies that help you. Don't be afraid to self-care. It is not selfish, it is a right. Note to self: Listen to that last sentence and carve out time to write!
At our worst times, my daughter always said this was our anthem. This is dedicated to her, as she was quite right. We did make and we did fly high. Lighthouse Family High