Two years ago I took a bold (some might say reckless) decision. I closed my business consultancy, sold our house and moved to Hoar Cross in Staffordshire to become a writer of fiction. It was a lifelong dream to write a novel but life had always got in the way. The plot for my book had been hatching for over a year and I needed to give it a real chance by devoting proper time and attention to it. My wonderful husband supported me to follow my dream.
Most people were hugely supportive, but one or two were worried and quite negative about what we were doing. As a coach for more than twenty five years I had helped other people achieve major life change in their personal and professional lives. I always believed that an authentic coach should be prepared to take brave decisions to make change happen, to practice what they preach. I was thinking about what I wanted to do next with my business one day when suddenly, three things came to mind that pushed me into taking that final step.
Firstly. A friend of mine (who had also been a frustrated writer) had taken the plunge and written the first in his quartet of books that he had been plotting for a number of years. Just after he made his decision to write, he was diagnosed with a serious illness. He wasn't sure whether he would be able to finish the other three books. (Luckily he did and has started a new project recently!)
Secondly, I had met a busy young mum through networking, who had a passion and was building a business around it. She faced problem after problem but her belief and enthusiasm was helping her to succeed against the odds (it was a great business model).
Thirdly, I had put in place a financial solution that would allow me to do this (or so I thought), but I didn't have a plan B.
Those three things made me realise that I was waiting for the mythical "right time" to do this and no such thing existed!
So today, I sit in my study, two years down the line. I have a finished manuscript, I have a publishing deal and I have a website to launch my book from. The financial plan has gone through some rocky times but we are still in the game. Even though no one could have predicted a pandemic, four months of lockdown and the need to rebuild our economy.
In short, I am living a life rather than marking time waiting for the perfect moment.
I know that others have similar dreams (many have told me they would love to do the same thing), So in the spirit of giving back, I want to share some of the things I have learnt as a result of my journey so far.
1. There is never a perfect time to make a life change.
2. Go with what you have; plan as much as you can and have a plan B.
3. Don't let the criticism or negativity of others put you off
4. Be prepared to listen and learn to get a better result
5. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it
6. There are no short cuts, living your dream is hard work! Brilliant, but hard never the less!
7. Life is too short for regrets and what if's.
My book, Keeping Secrets, is the first in the Shady Fields Trilogy and will be published in paperback and on Kindle in mid-October 2020. If you have a book in you, don't leave it until the world is perfect before you write it. Start writing now and let the universe sort out the other details.