When I was writing my first book: ‘Consequences Breaking the Negative Cycle’ back in 2011 I was only able to do my writing between 11pm and 5am.
This was the only time I felt inspired to write, every now and again my baby daughter Summer who was just 7 months old at the time would wake up and I would have to tend to her because I was already up,writing.This started to feel like a ritual. As I wrote late at night, it was as if she knew exactly when to wake up. She would cry when I was having writers block, after singing to her, feeding her and eventually rocking her back to sleep I was then able to find my rhythm again. This ‘ritual’ continued for months. Summer was my inspiration.
One night I fell asleep in the living room on the sofa with Summer in my arms.When I woke up to put her back in her cot, two ideas came rushing to me. I put her down and I ran back to the living room to pick up my pen and paper.
The first thing I wrote down was Ambitions….. At that point I thought I had lost my train of thought. I struggled to remember what it was that had me excited only moments before. I walked away from my desk, pacing up and down the living room, and then all of a sudden it came to me… ‘Ambitions of the deprived’… At this point I didn’t know what it meant; I just wrote it down and left it.
I picked up my Ipad and the first thing that came to my mind was to write a poem about success… “I have been looking for someone to share my life with”; This was the start of one of my favourite poetry pieces called ‘Perfect partner’ Again I was inspired at night.
The following day I looked at that piece of paper with the words ‘Ambitions of the deprived’ written on it. I stared at it for about 30 minutes, before I had the eureka moment. “This will be the title of my next book” I thought to myself… Laughing at myself at the same time, bearing in mind I was still in the middle of writing my first book. How could I already be thinking of the title of my next book?”
The thing about me is that once I make my mind up about something I will always make sure I see it through. There is never room for self-doubt or ‘fear’ where my dreams are concerned.
This next book would be a novel. At this point I had no plot, no characters, all I had was this title.
As the weeks went on I continued working on ‘Consequences’ while I made notes on possible plots and characters for this new novel. A few weeks down the line I had two solid ideas of what I wanted the plot to be about. I was happy with my decision; the next step was to create my characters. Many people who know me well say that I am a very observant person;I decided to go and sit in a park and watched people go about their everyday lives. I imagined what my main characters would look like, I spent a few hours in the park thinking.
When I got home, I had it all figured out. Everything became so clear, I sat down and wrote down a detailed description of my main characters, from their physical appearance to their personality traits. I wrote down their individual family backgrounds, created their families, I brought them to life on paper. I spent the whole night doing this, then I created a folder with the name of the title of the new book AOTD, I put the detailed characterisations in the folder and locked the printed draft away in my safe.
That night I made a promise to myself, telling myself I would sit down and write this book one day regardless of what happens with the book I was currently writing.
Two years and six months later, December 2013, just before Christmas, I went back into my safe and took out that folder. I read through everything I had written back in 2011. I said to myself it was time to write the novel. I made a schedule to start planning at the start of the New Year. I contacted my editor and told her the plan, she was on board and excited. I planned the novel thoroughly, went through every detail, before I started writing. The planning made the writing very enjoyable. I loved writing. While I was at work I could not wait to get home to start a new chapter or to finish the chapter I would have started. There were months and months of writing, editing, rewriting and re-editing. Fast forward to the present day,November 2014 I am now in the process of sharing my work and letting the world know about my latest book and all the hard work and late nights that went into bringing ‘AOTD’ to fruition.
I am very ambitious, I have goals that I have already achieved and many other goals that I am yet to achieve.
One thing I can’t do is sit around and let the world move forward while I stand still. I love working with young people, I love to teach and I love to inspire. I want to continue pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved and the key to staying on track is self belief…Not allowing doubt and fear to ‘have a say’
A quote I love that I share with my students on a regular basis is one from Michael Jordan, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something…But I can’t accept not trying again.”
Many people doubted I would write one book and now I am promoting my second book!
My message is perseverance and never let anyone tell you that you can’t…, not even yourself.