If you’re on Twitter, I’m sure this has happened to you … suddenly, someone comes into your network and from the first moment, you ‘click’ with them and then afterwards discover that you really do have quite a lot in common on many different levels. This is what happened with Donna and I.
Donna is a ‘new’ writer, relatively recently starting out. We all get the chance to read how authors are doing on their own websites, blogs and in other media but what about writers who are just starting out? I asked Donna if she would like to share her story with others. This is what she had to say:
I would like to thank Sharon for asking me to write this, I felt very honoured. I read her interviews with published and indie writers with envy, and live in hope of the day that I can class myself as being ‘there with them’!
I have recently been able to take up writing, which has always been a dream of mine when I was working and the children were young, but there did not seem enough hours in the day – and when there was a free one in which I could sit with my feet up, it would normally result in me snoring in the armchair.
My life took a massive turnaround when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in Dec 2006 which was an unbelievably hard time, and put paid to my career as my health was very poor indeed.
After a long year of rehab I was able to step back into the classroom, but only as a helper. I chose to go in and read with the children, as many did not get the support needed at home to compliment their education, and as in all schools there was never enough time for teachers to read on a one to one basis with every child, every day and I felt I could help just a few. It gave me the opportunity to work with the children, inspiring and encouraging, without the pressure.
Unfortunately this ended in 2010 when my health took another turn for the worse, leaving me dependant on a wheelchair for many things, so I knew my life needed to take a new direction.
This is when I first started thinking about being able to develop the aspiration I had stifled for some years, to write. I tried to find a writing group in the local area, to no avail. I am still toying with the idea of doing an online course but the thought of getting out and meeting people appeals to me … but I always keep my eyes open!
Luckily I have found much support from other authors, meeting on social networking sites and through writing my blog, it is always a comfort to speak to people who have been where you are and I have found the friends I have made are incredibly friendly and helpful when things get tough.
My first thoughts for writing were always of children’s books, with bright, stimulating illustrations to capture and enthuse young readers, but I have found since starting to write, my head is actually filled with other ideas.
I have always enjoyed reading romances, some of my favourite authors being Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde, Jenny Colgan and Sophie Kinsella, and found that the old saying of ‘writing what you know’ is probably true, as once I actually put my ideas down on paper, the words flowed far more naturally.
Last year, I was also asked to write a regular blog for the MS Society, which gives me the chance to share my experiences, thoughts and worries, and hopefully help others, especially people who may be recently diagnosed.
I find I can escape easily into my own writing, and just being able to get up and write a blog, or know I am halfway through a chapter that is really gripping my attention, makes me feel far more positive and like I am again doing something worthwhile.
I feel I have an unbelievably mammoth task ahead of me, but so far am enjoying it immensely, from researching for my book to the actual writing itself. I am not looking forward to the really hard work that I know comes after, but in true ostrich style, I shall think about that later!
Thank you for sharing with us Donna 🙂 You truly are in inspiration. Wishing you oodles of success in your writing career!
As Donna mentions, one of her favourite authors is Jill Mansell. To enter a giveaway for a paperback copy (UK entries only) of A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell (published 5 July), leave Donna a pick me comment below. This giveaway closes midnight Friday 18th May. Good luck!