Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The Day My Life Changed

Today, I watched a group of school children and their parents pass my window on their way to school. Nothing unusual in that, you might think - the half term holidays are, after all, at an end. On any other day, I wouldn't give them a second thought but today... well, today is a milestone. Eight years ago, to the day, I watched a similar group of children walking to school. That day would be the first time in years I would not be getting into my car and driving to my own small primary school to start my day as an English teacher. You see three days earlier, I'd been given the devastating news the school would be closing and we were all to be made redundant.

People often talk about the pivotal moments in their lives and this was mine. My life, as I knew it, was about to change, but I had no way of knowing then how much. I could have stayed in education but (even though I'd been happy at my school) I'd never felt teaching was what I really should be doing. It wasn't a career I chose carefully, rather I fell into it. My mum and sister were both teachers and, in all honesty, I just hadn't come up with a better plan.

It was my chance to try something new... but what?

By chance, my brother had just completed an online creative writing course. He'd enjoyed it and thought I might too. Why didn't I give it a go? I did. I loved it. Then I did a second. A little voice in my head said, this is something you're not bad at. Why not give it a go?

At first my ambitions were small. I wanted to have a story published in a magazine. But when, to my delight, I did, I wasn't satisfied. I'd got the bug. I wanted more. I began to take my writing more seriously. I had more stories published. I had serials published. I wrote a novel... then two more. What had started as a hobby was becoming something else. Without me realising it, I had a new career.

Today, after the schoolchildren had gone past my window, I thought about whether I had any regrets. Whether I missed those days in the classroom. I realised I hadn't missed them at all. Not once in the eight years. And that's because I've been doing something I love.

As May, when the first of my novels will be published, creeps closer, and my excitement mounts, I know that sometimes adversity can bring its own rewards. Misfortune can have a silver lining.

I might complain about the edits, the deadlines, the mind-numbing dullness of reading your manuscript for what feels like the zillionth time, but I wouldn't change it for the world. 

Really. I wouldn't.


  1. I've just realised that if you had stayed in teacching then we would never had met! Now I can't imagine my life without your friendship :) xx

  2. That's a great story in itself especially with Tracy's comment!

  3. Very much a case of the cloud having a silver lining, Wendy.x

  4. It's surprising how may people become writers almost accidentally – I'm another one.