Imagine if you could write a fiction story based on the next 12 months. If you could paint yourself in any situation, good or bad, would you be writing yourself into a romantic story or would you be shooting amongst the stars in sci-fi thriller?
I saw this concept mentioned on Sweek.com so I had a go at writing my own Fiction/Non Fiction story. The first part of this story is based on my previous two years, which were not my greatest if I am completely honest, but the rest is a complete work of fiction.
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In 2016 I almost lost my husband, he was involved in a terrible road traffic accident with him being the innocent pedestrian who was passing by as two cars collided. The cars spun out of control and one mounted the curb, up onto the path and ran into my husband, pinning him against the wall. He was very lucky to be alive, but it was a long, hard road to recovery. He spent five months in hospital, fighting for his life and then fighting to get back up onto his feet and to home, to us.
In 2017, things were looking up. We were finally back together as a family unit. Me, my husband and our two young boys. I had returned to work and life was getting back to normal. We were happy, so we decided to increase our family and I became pregnant, expecting our third child. The days soared by until finally I was sitting waiting to be called for my 20-week scan. Our 12-week scan had gone really well, our baby was healthy, and we were looking forward to finding out whether we were having a boy or a girl.
But this year apparently wasn’t our year either. On being called into our scan and lying back for the sonographer to do her magic, I noticed the look on her face. Within minutes our entire world came crashing down.
How can life be so cruel?
This year should be different, why was our family experiencing another horrifying blow?
Our beautiful sleeping angel was born on the 13th November. We mourned, we grieved, cried and celebrated the life we had lost. How much more heart ache can one family take?
Here it is, a new year. I wanted so much more from this year. 2018! I should have welcomed a new baby; should have been knee deep in nappies and I should have been sleep deprived beyond belief!
But I wasn’t. I felt hollow, I felt numb. New Year’s Resolutions didn’t stop me from feeling so empty, but I do have to live, I had to move forward. So, I decided to do something about it. We are now almost at the end of 2018 and this year has NOT sucked!
I decided to write a book. I poured my heart and soul into this work of fiction which has a big dollop of truth poured into it. Day and night, I wrote. My brain hurt, my eyes ached and my fingers were red raw from all the typing. I created a book. It was over 60,000 words long and I was proud of it. My husband had first read of it and he said it was good. So, I printed it all off and I proudly fiddled with the pages of my manuscript, typed correctly and with a cover sheet and a summary.
I approached publishers and my confidence dipped as one by one they turned my story down. It wasn’t what they wanted or not what they were looking for. With each rejection letter came another blow to my already faltering esteem. I asked myself whether I should give up, but then I looked back at my previous two years. I had no control over my life when those situations hit our family. And I was determined that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight!
So, when the final rejection letter came through, the fire inside me erupted. The anger from 2016 met up with the anger from 2017 and I screamed with frustration and rage! I vowed that my manuscript would be read. I knew it was good and I wanted the people who mattered to be the judges…. the readers! Not the publishers!
I wasn’t being big headed, this was me taking control.
I picked up my manuscript and drove to my local photocopying shop and waited as 50 copies were made. I kept the original copy and placed it in an envelope and posted it recorded delivery to myself, ensuring that I had proof that the manuscript was mine, to stop any attempted plagiarism. I then took each copied manuscript and wrote #SGnovel2018readme to the top right-hand corner of the cover on EACH copy. I then planted each copy into a bright pink envelope, so people could see it easily. The copied manuscripts were taken everywhere. I put one near our local burger restaurant, placed on in a shopping trolley at the local supermarket. I even sneaked one into the back of a goods wagon on its way to Ireland. Trips out with the kids had me depositing a manuscript randomly, including parks, zoos and even on a trip to London. Finally, after weeks of hiding the manuscripts around parts of the UK I was finally left with my last one in hand. I thought long and hard about what I could do with it.
Then I placed it in an envelope and using a PR address, I sent it registered first class to my favourite author, hoping that she would some how read my book. And then I waited, I made myself wait a week before I searched my hashtag online. Part of me was scared that I would find nothing…. another was excited at the possibility that I might find mentions, even if it is just one!
After a week, I sat at my computer and searched my hashtag. I searched Google, Facebook and Twitter, each search having my smile widen and widen. There were so many posts about the manuscripts being found. My heart soared, and my head was giddy with excitement. There were tweets, retweets, hashtags and photographs. Everyone was talking about my book, people were applauding the ingenious way that I had got my story out there. People were sharing they’re accounts of how they had found their copy and they were sharing them with friends and family. My hashtag was also trending on Twitter! I jumped up and down and raced around my kitchen. I knew I could do it. All I needed was to believe in myself.
That was the last day I remembered being normal. I was inundated with calls, my name was being shared, I was being discussed on television and all the companies who had originally rejected my book were now fighting to sign me.
I attended many interviews with various television, radio and newspaper companies. They all wanted to know about me, the author.
And here I am, sitting next to my favourite author on the most famous sofa on daytime television with my supportive husband watching from behind the camera. Life could not get any better. I regularly feel like I should be pinching myself!
The blonde presenter with the welcoming smile and amazing fashion sense looked me in the face and asked if I had ever imagined my life changing as I distributed my book. Thinking of my previous years and the traumatic events I went through with my family, I smiled openly and replied, ‘let’s just say, 2018 didn’t suck’.