Life, Death and Becoming a Writer

It  has been funny couple of weeks, full of dramatic highs and very low, lows.  In short, it’s been LIFE in capitals and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

As you may have guessed by now, I write; sometimes I write good things and sometimes I write bad things – not intentionally of course, but just that some people don’t like my style that’s all.  So it was with a great deal of trepidation that I ventured down to farthest reaches of Cornwall (you really couldn’t get any further without going swimming) to write THE NOVEL.

Now this novel has been ‘a-comin’ for years, in fact I even managed to write the first chapter of it about three years ago, but alas was no further on.  I really had no idea where to take it and how it should progress.  I had read everything there was to read about writing novels and almost all suggested that it would be a VERY GOOD THING to have at least the makings of a plan … but nothing, nada, zilch; it just wasn’t there.

I’d been banging on about being a ‘proper writer’ for so long that in the end I was packed off by my much better half to get on with it.  He was very supportive though, saying that if I found I couldn’t do it that it would be fine and I could just have a break … yeah, right! So it was Cornwall or bust and if I came back with nothing to show except some sleep I knew that I wouldn’t be satisfied.

A week later, I returned home with 40,000+ words written … even I was impressed, no seriously I was shocked at just what I could achieve when I took my own internal brakes off and just went for it.  But here was the funny thing, the partial novel I returned with was not the novel I started with, in fact they couldn’t be soooooo different if they tried and it all came from the realisation that what I’d written before was actually a short story – it was complete in itself and didn’t need to go any further than it already had.

The first novel, now short story, was funny (I think) ; the second novel is much more sober and reflective and probably contains everything I have always wanted to write but never had the nerve to think I could be good enough.  Of course, there is no telling whether it is any good or not, in fact it could be complete tosh, but it was a hugely cathartic process and I hope that it will be received well, when I eventually create the space to finish it.

So far, so positive … and then I came home to hear that my cousin, a woman who has inspired me for many years to be better and be more than I am, had died.  The shock was not so much from her dying, we had been expecting it for the last twelve months, but that she had been to stay for a while, with her husband Rich for a couple of days just two weeks before.   I hit the lows, really low … I never realised how low I could be until we lost Alex; you see Alex has been there for me and for many others too with wise words of encouragement and wisdom that she dropped in every now and then; a little voice on our shoulders always positive and upbeat.  She was an inspiration to many and I can only thank the universe for allowing her to be my cousin.

And then more positive stuff; the funeral took place on a Wednesday afternoon in Northern Ireland and there were so many people there that they were standing outside and during the service her husband Rich read an open letter to us all from Alex and in it she asked to take a moment to turn around and meet someone new.  ‘Make a new friend and experience the power of friendship’ she said, and we did so much so that the crematorium buzzed with conversation and it took a while to calm down for the rest of the service.  So amidst the tears there was laughter and joy and new friends made – Alex’s legacy lives on.

I’ve been writing on Facebook about the events of the last couple of weeks and a couple of friends have reminded me that it is in moments like these that we get our best inspiration, and they are right.  Already I can feel the difference in me, already I feel I am a different (and perhaps more mature) person.

The video below is for everyone who wants to understand what they need to do to create more meaning in their lives too … enjoy!


The NOVEL is finished .. finally … just 14 months later and you can find it here called Woman on the Edge of Reality 🙂

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  1. What a lovely thing to say Amanda and ‘thank you’, so many people inspire me to be better indeed and you have definitely contributed to that process. See you FB. xx

  2. Wow…. The words… and the video moved me … Im almost speechless… Food for thought indeed.