Thursday, 15 February 2018

The Week that Changed My Life


Each year, I approach this week in February with mixed feelings - for it was in the half term week of 2011 that my life was to change in a way I couldn't have predicted.

This blog post I wrote two years ago, gives more details.

The Day My Life Changed Direction

In a nutshell, the end of the school holiday would see my teaching career come to an abrupt end after the sudden closure of the school I was teaching at. On the following Monday, when the new half term began, instead of walking into my classroom and starting the day's English lesson, I would find myself walking my dog along the river bank, wondering what on earth I was going to do with my life.

That day, as Bonnie and I stood watching the swans that had gathered at the edge of the water, I remember how adrift I felt. I was no longer a teacher but it would be another year before I could call myself a writer. 

Of course, on that first day without a job, I had no idea that an exciting new phase of my life was about to begin - that misfortune would turn to opportunity and that it would be the start of a new career. All I knew was that something I'd loved had come to and end. I felt let down by the way the closure of the school had been handled and I had difficulty coming to terms with it. 

If only I'd known, as I looked for answers in that flowing river, that it would all turn out just fine.That, seven years on, I would be writing fiction for some of the best national women's magazines. Not only that but I would go on to write two novels (one of which would win a major competition) and publish three story collections of which I'd be immensely proud.



These are my two stories in The People's Friend Spring Special, which is in the shops as I write.

But, of course, I didn't know any of this at the time. it was something yet to come. 

As with most things, the new path I've taken hasn't always been a smooth one. Just last year, I had a major setback that shook my faith in my writing. I had two choices. I could let it get me down or pick myself up and use it as an opportunity to make something even better happen... just as I did before. I did the latter.

I'm glad I did.

My novel is now with agents and publishers. It might lead to something big... or it might not. Whatever happens, it's another turning point.

And it's exciting.


20 comments:

  1. Here's to the next writing year and I hope exciting news for you.

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  2. I think you already know that something similar happened to me – I was suddenly made redundant from a job I'd loved. Now I'm (mostly) glad it happened, but it took a lot of adjusting to.

    I hope your something big happens!

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    1. Yes, I think it happened around the same time. Scary at the time but when you look back, you can only marvel at what’s been achieved because of it.

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  3. Good wishes for the year ahead, with lots of exciting writing waiting to happen, I'm sure! And I here confess that although now well into retirement from teaching... I still have trouble throwing out the old egg-cartons, so useful for model dragons!!

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    1. It took me ages to get rid of all my teaching resources (five years in fact).

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  4. If things had been different, say that week had never happened then I wouldn't have met you. So that week changed my life too & in a good way! So pleased to have you as my writing chum xx

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    1. Oh you'rd right! I hadn't thought about that, Tracy. I can't imagine us not being friends. A double silver lining 😀

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  5. You've come a long way. While I don't subscribe to the theory that everything happens for a reason, I do think that if you hold on tight you will eventually end up where you want to be. As it says in the Jack Reacher novels: stay alive and see what the next minute brings!

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  6. Wishing you all the luck in the world. You are an inspiration. So proud to share the bumper issue of PF with you ---even though I haven't seen it yet! Fingers crossed for your perseverance. Angela Petch

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  7. I can only imagine the huge disappointment that event must have given you, Wendy, but it proves how resilient you are. So pleased you found that great new career and have even more exciting moments still to come.

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    1. It was acertainly a shock, Rosemary, but it turned out for the best.

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  8. Hi Wendy
    It's wonderful to hear that things worked out well for you. You should be proud that you made it happen with your hard work and positivity. I hope good things continue to happen for you.
    Angela x

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  9. Your story is inspiring and shows your strength. You truly are your own heroine. Congratulations on all your writing successes, and I'm sure you have many more to come.

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  10. You definitely made the right choice carrying on writing, Wendy. So glad you picked yourself up again. Keeping everything crossed that this is your breakthrough year for novel writing and you enjoy continued success with short story writing. x

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