Friday, 6 March 2009

Wise words

I was chatting with an old friend, Dorothy the other day (she's 74) and I was telling her that whilst having my book accepted for publication has been a truly wonderful experience it can at times feel very scary. Success can rock your foundations, changing your perspective and turning your world upside down - especially if you have grown accustomed to failure and struggle. So many questions whirl around inside my head on a daily basis. Now I've accomplished my dream what's left for me? What if I don't feel satisfied or content once I've reached my goal. Do I deserve this success and what if I make lots of mistakes or let people down? There's the worry that I won't be able to sustain this level of hard work and the question of whether I will be able to cope with demands and being the centre of attention. I joked with Dorothy that the irony of this situation was that I always wanted to be a writer so that I could spend my life locked away in my wee cottage surrounded with my many cats living a reclusive life! I always visualised myself as one of the characters in "Bree McCready and the Half Heart Locket" - a rather eccentric wee woman with a shock of white hair and a bicycle with a basket at the front! I hadn't really considered that I might meet so many interesting and inspiring people along the way or that I might attend book signings or (heaven forbid) stand alone on a stage promoting my book. All these opportunities are incredible and I am so excited about what's ahead of me but yes, I admit I am absolutely terrified. Dorothy said something which struck a chord - "You can't be brave unless you're frightened" - and this is true. This whole adventure is new to me and there are times I can't believe all these great things are happening. But this has been good for me. It has pushed my into doing things I would never ordinarily have chosen to do. It has taken me out of my comfort zone, brought out the best in me and allowed me to spread my wings in a way I never thought possible. Sometimes we need a shove in the right direction. Of course there are always going to be people who are better than me and there will undoubtedly be some who hate what I've written. Yes, there will be times when I feel overwhelmed and there is always a chance that everything might self-destruct at any moment. But as Dorothy reminded me - what would it all have been about if I hadn't at least enjoyed the moment? What is life about if we can't relish the wonderful moments because we're so hung up on what might go wrong? Sometimes you have to move on no matter how terrifying that feels. In the words of Winston Churchill - "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts"

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