What Happens Next? –  

The year started the way it usually does – me almost making it to 12 am while fireworks burst around me, dogs barking in fear and people wowing the sky. For me, it means that the closest supermarket will be full of people and short on stock. Lychees will still be sold on the streets for the next week, and if I am lucky the mango tree in my garden will produce my favourite fruit.

For a year I focused on changing my personal title from writer to author. I edited and wrote and edited again. I learned about proofreading, making websites and social media. When the time came, I got on a plane, launched a book and had a few parties in celebration. It was amazing and exhausting and then it was finished. I had been so fixated on bringing a book into being that I didn’t realise that once that was done it would be … done.

My natural state is to be a bit of a loner. It is not that I am anti-social, but I am not used to being in the spotlight, and yet I opened my life up to anyone who wanted to read about it. When the sales actually started to come in, I was scared and nervous. Most of all, I was surprised at how many people congratulated me on getting my book published. But the truth is that I was petrified of the response I would get once people actually read what I had set out to say. And then the reviews started to come in. I knew my friends would be kind. I knew that if necessary, they would even lie to my face just so that my feelings would not be hurt. But it was the WORLD that I was worried about. With my heart beating so hard I could feel it pulsating in my feet I began to read what people thought. Slowly and carefully I read the first few lines of each review, and then faster and faster. I began to pore over them. People I didn’t know liked it. People I didn’t know thanked me. A few even told me of their own experiences and how my words helped reframe their thinking. My book, it seemed, carried a message that people wanted to hear, and it was a success.

To say I was elated is an understatement. I was overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers and the words they sent back to me. So what do I do now that it has all been written and read you ask? I am not quite ready to start again. This year I will be focusing on getting my book into more readers’ hands. If you liked my book, please put a review up somewhere – anywhere – everywhere.  It is my aim to show as many people that life can be tough, and the road can be bumpy, but we still can try to put one foot in front of the other. We still need to pick ourselves back up when we fall. And we still need to keep on moving on. I am open to questions, interviews or even Skype calls so don’t be shy in contacting me.

In this coming year, I will make mistakes. I will act foolishly. I will be vulnerable, in fact, I am sure that at times I will feel lost. But the thing about life is that it is full of cycles and that means that at other times I will be strong, and I will be brave. And before I know it, the year will be over again, and I will be nodding off as usual just before I can bring in the new year.

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