When I first moved to Canada I kept a diary. It was mainly to write down my experiences, so that when I became old and senile, I would be able to look back at that part of my life and remind myself. The first thing to note about this is that I didn’t think at the time I would still be here 10 years later. Secondly, it never occurred to me at the time that writing would become a thing of mine, and thirdly, I now find it interesting that it has evolved into a way of aerating and dealing with stuff!
After our initial year here – which may I add was only meant to be a year – the diary became an on/off thing. I would write in it occasionally and to be honest after a while it fizzled out… until I found out my mum was terminally ill when I was only 11 weeks pregnant with our first child. I have no idea how the diary started again; maybe even then I unconsciously realized that writing provided some sort of therapy. When I wrote my first book I decided to explore some of the issues I had experienced first hand. Yes, the death of my mother when I was 31 weeks pregnant was a highly charged emotional time of my life, but had to that the fact that I was 5000 miles away, unable to travel and be with her, and I don’t get on with my father and several other members of my family.
I found that when my story was evolving, and to this day I can’t tell you where it came from or how it evolved, I was able to use some of that emotion. However, I found that re-living it was much more difficult than anticipated. One of the recommendations the professional reader made, in her report, was that I needed to dig deeper when exploring some of the issues I raise.
So here I am, almost halfway through my 15 millionth round of editing and ready to dig deep inside myself, as far as I can this time, to give my readers a realistic account of how my character feels.