Going to school wrote out any creativity in that area, and I got into being academic instead. The main purpose became passing exams so I could make my parents proud.
Growing up, I would occasionally put pen to paper and write poetry – musings from experiences in relationships and marijuana hazes.
When I met my late husband, the novelist Nigel Watts, I became very clear that he was the writer, and I was not. After all, he had written his first novel, and had made the decision to write full-time just before we’d met. Here was a proper professional writer. And I was too busy conquering the world of television to think about anything else.
Nigel taught Creative Writing, and he devised a couple of really fabulous writing workshops: one on freeing the writer within, called Write to Life and the other on the craft of writing, called Plotting the Story.
I helped him teach Write to Life because of my experience as a coach and facilitator. We made a good team, and helped a number of people to claim themselves as writers and go on to be published.
However, this wasn’t enough to get me writing again, until seven years after Nigel’s untimely death. His publishers got in touch with me to say they were re-launching his highly successful book for the Teach Yourself series, Write A Novel And Get It Published. This book had been in print since 1996 and it contained all that Nigel knew about writing. No wonder it was a success and is still, to this day, his best-selling work.
His publishers asked if I’d write the Preface. “What? But I’m not a writer!” I protested. Undeterred, they gave me some idea of what they wanted, and so, one evening, I sat in front of my computer and asked Nigel to inspire me. Sure enough, within half an hour, I had typed out a stream of words that I was quite happy with. I didn’t edit it, apart from two words.
The publishers wrote back saying it was just what they wanted and asked if I’d thought about becoming a writer. I mused on that question for some time.
A year later, whilst living on a ranch in Tucson, Arizona, I began my first book, Life Lessons ~ Through the Grit to the Pearl.
I had just split up from a man I’d met a few months before, with whom I had fallen deeply into a compulsive, obsessive, passionate some kind of love with, and I decided it was time to commit the words of my life to the page.
That was six years ago, and now Life Lessons is being shown to publishers.
So when you tell yourself you are not this or that, never say never. Who would have thought my life would evolve to being a writer when I firmly believed that place was already taken?
Thank you Nigel, for passing on the writing baton. I honour the legacy of the many wordsmiths who have gone before me.