I don’t know whether it’s the focus on time with the clocks having changed, or whether it’s from watching the changing landscape from my office window from a luscious green to a rich russet, or whether it’s because my 8 year-old wanted to choose his own clothes when we went shopping last week, but once again I’ve found myself feeling very nostalgic these past few days. I find myself staring wistfully out of the window, my mind wandering back to days gone by, to my childhood – to that time of magical wonderment when life was lived for that day. I know it’s a cliche, but it feels like only yesterday and suddenly I’m a thirty-something woman and I’m thinking, ‘God, it’s nearly Christmas again. Where does the time go?’
As a child I lived in stories. I read, I made up stories, I kept written stories in my secret box. I recently came across a report I wrote for my end of year ceremony at sixteen. When asked what I wished my future career to be, I had simply said ‘anything to do with writing.’
After graduating in English, this notion did flicker momentarily in my mind, but was swiftly swatted away. One day I’ll write, I said to myself. For now, I have to get a ‘proper’ job that will pay me money. I therefore settled on teaching as a profession and life just kind of trundled along. I devoted every spare minute to my job in the early days, wanting to be the best teacher I could possibly be. I met my husband, we started a family. I juggled work with being Mam. There was just no time to write. It was never going to be the right time to start writing.
And that is my biggest regret. Years of not writing. I can’t believe that I’ve let so much time flitter past without writing nothing more than lesson plans and shopping lists.
Writing makes me so incredibly happy. Yes, it makes me feel tremendously low at times too when good old self-doubt is sat on my shoulder. But I write through it and get myself out of the misty murkiness into bright sunshine again. Why has it taken me so long to re-discover this? Stories were pivotal to my childhood, they were an integral part of me. So why, oh why, did I let life push my stories, my passion to the dim recesses of my mind? I don’t have an answer. It just happened. Like it has to many other writers, or people who whisper of a ‘One day I’ll …’ dream.
Since re-discovering it three years ago, I’ve grabbed it and embraced and I’ll never let it go again. And it’s not just about wanting to get my work published and realising that this is a bloody slow process and if only I’d done this a few years ago (although this is of course the dream and I still have to pinch myself that in a few months time there’ll be a real book held in the hands of real children with my name on it). It’s more about doing something that makes me happy. It’s about doing something that stops me worrying about tomorrow, because when I write, time stops ticking as I lose myself in my imaginary worlds.
Yes I still have to go to work. Yes I still have financial commitments. But I now have my passion back. I write every day, whether it’s working on a new book, or a short story, or writing my blog. I write. I live in the moment and let the words flow.
So if I was to share a snippet of advice, it would simply be not to let time run away from you. You can’t stop time but you can run happily along with it. Whatever it is that makes you happy, that lets you step away from the stresses of everyday life, just do it. Don’t be a ‘One day I’ll …’ dreamer, be a ‘Today I’m going to …’ grabber.
People always talk about when is it the right time to do such-and-such. When is it the right time to follow your dream? It’s always the right time.
Hwyl am y tro x