12/12/12

Tomorrow is the 12th December 2012, or the 12/12/12. A pretty special day in itself but for Nik and I it’s the 12th anniversary of when we got together. We met whilst working at Warner Village Cinemas (now Vue) in Bristol and got together at the staff Christmas party on the evening of the 12th December 2000. Nik proposed during our holiday in the Maldives on the 10th May 2007, three days after my 30th birthday, and we got married exactly a year later in Greece. So the 10th May next year will be our 5th wedding anniversary but tomorrow we’re celebrating 12 years together.

Along with my parents, Nik has been a constant supporter of my writing dream and has always believed in me. In fact when life got particularly tough in the first few months of 2011 it was Nik who gave me the confidence and boost I needed to focus on writing non-fiction for a while instead of my novel.

As every writer knows, rejections come with the territory. At the start of 2011 I sent my second novel, Time Shifters, out to a handful of agents. (I’m self-publishing my first novel, The Butterfly Storm in 2013.) I then got what every writer and budding novelist dreams of, a phone call out of the blue from an agent. She said she loved the first three chapters of my novel and was excited by the sound of the rest of it and would I like to send her the whole novel? Would I? I could barely contain my excitement. I emailed her my novel that very day and then endured the dreaded wait.

What happened next was simply bad luck. When I queried the status of Time Shifters after a few weeks of waiting I had a very apologetic reply from the agent saying that unfortunately she was leaving the agency and so would be passing my novel onto one of her colleagues to consider. She also said that she hoped her colleague would ‘love it as much as she did’. As it turned out her colleague didn’t love it as much, although she did send me a lovely long email detailing what she did like and left it open for me to re-submit it to her on the condition I made the significant changes she had suggested. It was at this point with other negative stuff going on in my life that Nik said enough is enough and suggested that I put aside Time Shifters for a while and focused on making some money from writing articles again.

So, in May 2011 I stopped sending out Time Shifters to agents and started looking for article writing opportunities. I’d written articles in the past with some success and had been published in magazines such as New Welsh Review and Chapter and Verse but that was a few years earlier. Things had changed since then and there were far more opportunities and markets out there for freelance writers because of the internet and the explosion of blogs and online writing. I re-subscribed to Write This Moment, a fantastic resource for freelancers looking for work, and within just a few weeks I’d found various paid writing opportunities including regular freelance work with easyJet holidays. After just a few months the hard work paid off and resulted in me being able to reduce my hours by half at my ‘day job’ in November last year.

And that’s all thanks to Nik. Happy 12th anniversary. x

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