I believe that everyone has a special gift, a passion, or something they really enjoy doing. When I was a small kid, mine was writing stories and drawing pictures. Trouble is, spelling isn’t my strong point, and I struggle to understand the concept of grammar. I learnt that quite quickly in secondary school and even now, some people take pleasure in correcting me.
I had no interest in the school curriculum of art (I had my own ideas), and every school report I had described me as “below average” and “easily distracted.”
Compared to everybody else I was “below average.”
But the one thing I know and have known my whole life was that my imagination is way above average, and I would often lose myself there in times of boredom. But as an adult, I never believed I could ever become a writer/illustrator. The small kid I’d been —she believed—but once I hit high school, I forgot how to believe in myself. I was like that old saying—If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid. That was me.
It wasn’t until I was thirty five that I began writing and drawing again, and I only did it because I wanted to escape to my imagination from the stresses of life.
I began writing when I had a bout of ‘flu. I’d let myself get rundown, so to feel better I used the inspiration I had from the cool place I live and my crazy dogs to begin writing a story. I posted the illustration online where it was met with great feedback. I kept going, and people around me became as excited by my story as I was, which was a great feeling.
Fast forward a couple of years and a lot of hard work, I’m now publishing my own book which I illustrated myself, and I’ve even sold my first painting.
Of course, I’ve had a great support network and the best professionals to work with, and I’ve learnt so much from them for which I am truly grateful.
So I guess if you’re really passionate about something and it’s your gift, it will all come full circle. You just have to believe in yourself, take criticism, and learn from it. Take negative comments and show them they’re wrong, and never give up. I have my old school reports for Art and English stuck on my wall by my computer to remind me to continue to strive and show that I’m not below average. I now look at them and smile.
Once I got the Wotton Pack and the Ghost House under way, I never doubted this day would come because I believed and knew I’d do anything to make it happen.
The feeling of having my own book is amazing. It’s my dream come true, right from back when I was small.
As the saying goes: