Each and everyone of us are on a journey, a life’s journey. Every birthday is a milestone whether you celebrate it or not. Every obstacle along the way helps us the grow and develop as a human. Whether we have religious faith or not, we must have faith within ourselves to face whatever problems life sees fit to throw at us.

In 1999, I worked in a dead end job building electronic units feeling very dissatisfied with myself. As a child I was creative and hoped I would go on the college to follow my dreams of being an artist or something creative.

Coming from a poor background, I couldn’t afford the expensive canvases or paints though I did take some evening classes. After moving in with a boyfriend, I continued working in low paying jobs but our dream of buying house pushed all my ambitions to one side, when we got married and moved to another house.

When my first marriage ended, I found myself alone raising my son and I had to let go of my dreams to focus on to keep a roof over our heads and paying bills.

Sitting at work, with one of life’s milestones on the horizon, I thought about my dreams again, and set myself a challenge.

I hadn’t made it into college because I was unable to complete the entrance exam. Dyslexia has always held me back. I was embarrassed that I had problems with pronunciation, spelling and my handwriting was awful. I memorised words and their patterns though my ability to read was good,. I had a clean understanding of most words and their meaning even if I couldn’t pronounce them. My main frustrations was being unable to express my thoughts clearly enough to put them down in writing.

My first husband undermined my confidence when years before I tried to educate myself by improving my handwriting. I sat copying passages from books I found interesting. I did try teaching myself maths by borrowing books from a library but soon gave up.

With the dawn of the computer, I saw the perfect opportunity to try my hand at writing, though it was a battle to get chance to use the computer while my son was awake. Again I unable to buy one for myself and it would be years before I could afford one of my own after being the sole breadwinner in the house.

In 1996 after years of struggling, life stopped put obstacles in my way and start giving me opportunities. Firstly, a wonderful man walked into my life and show me that he could be trusted with my heart.

After taking out some big loans to do repairs on the house, I was able to buy a computer. First I had to teach myself how to use one. Then with the birth of the internet I found out about writing forums where like-mind people could chatter and I also discovered Ebay which I used to buy secondhand books on ‘how to’ write to be published and books on English grammar.

Once I decided on my challenge, I wrote about what I knew. Over many years, I had researched my family history and taking family stories I had uncovered I wrote seven nonfiction articles which to my surprise were published and I was paid.

From then I moved onto fiction after receiving encouragement from my husband, Russell and a few of my closest friends. In 2010, English Heritage published my first story loosely based of the death of an ancestor in their anthology Whitby, Pure Inspiration.

I feel now that my confidence has grown as I now have the ability to take my thoughts and express them in the written word. It’s also open a whole new and exciting world not just for me but my family and friends too.

As I sit here at my keyboard, I’m ready to face a new challenge as I travel down this creative path I’ve taken. I’m so glad I hadn’t give up dreaming or reaching for the stars.

Have faith in yourself, even when you feel like giving up. Remember the only thing that stands between you and failure, is you. 😉In 2012 I was the overall winner in the Writing Magazine/ Harrogate Crime Festival Short Story Competition

1 Comment

  1. Very inspirational post Paula. My daughter also has dyslexia and I understand the difficulties. Luckily there is more information about it now. I also had to keep putting my writing hold due to life issues but the struggle has been worth it. Let’s hope our writing goes from strength to strength.


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