People write and blog for a multitude of reasons. Up until September 24 2014 I hadn’t written anything other than a shopping list. Yet I sat down and started my book. When people I know discover I’ve written a novel they presume it’s about disability which makes me a little disappointed because it could imply that my condition is now what defines me. It doesn’t.
For quite some time I did feel lost. One minute I was a teacher, then I wasn’t. My driving licence was one of my greatest achievements and now I can’t drive. I swam twenty lengths a day, not no more! If music played, then I danced – I’m now a break dancing sort of chick.
Honestly, it’s hard to be 44 and to have to reinvent yourself, but I’m glad I persisted because on Wednesday I’m going up town to meet a literary agent who likes my book. I’m not thinking past our rendezvous I’m just so enjoying the moment. If someone told me a year ago that I would have penned a novel and that I’d been glamming up and circulating among literary types I’d be waiting for the punchline but it seems my adventures are not over just yet.
At golf when my husband mentions my writing his friends are a bit taken back because it was only in December that I had a posterior cervical lamenectomy following two previous anterior cervical disectomy and fusions (3 surgeries in 4 years). I have a damaged spinal cord, I walk funny, my body is awkward, grasping is difficult; things just fly from my hand so beware if I’m holding a carving knife and I can’t lift anything, really, nothing.
My problem is this, the more I do physically the quicker my disks wear away. At first I failed to grasp the enormity of this and to be honest I don’t think the surgeons and neurologists believed that my myelopathy could be as rapidly progressive as it turned out to be.
So what do you do if you can’t work, can’t exercise, can’t do housework, can’t tend to your beloved garden? You write a book whilst listening to some banging tunes as my daughter would say.
I have imagination and a lot of time on my hands. I’ve started on my second book to keep me busy. Each day I wake up with purpose and a sense of excitement because I have a job; I’m a writer.
Why have I approached an agent to pursue publishing, isn’t it about writing for fun? Yes, but my husband plays golf, it’s fun, but he wants to win. It’s true when I say I’m not competitive however I want to be good at something again. I want to have a proper job that earns money and fulfills me. I love the idea of going on book tours, talking about my novel, meeting new people in places I’ve never been to. I also want to dream, okay, I agree it’s a bit far fetched: me, The Odeon Leicester Square and the premier of The Rebirth of Henry Whittle.
Be happy, T.