I became a professional, full-time writer during lockdown
How one lockdown saw me through the next
Covid-19 has generally brought out the best in people. Making friends with neighbours you’d never spoken to prior, showing concern for those who’re housebound and, hopefully, a resurgence of the sense of community spirit.
It was/is also a wonderful opportunity to, perhaps, try learning a new skill or attempt something you’ve always put off.
My first unexpected lockdown came in 2014 when an unfortunate accident on a child’s scooter resulted in four months sat at home with a snapped tendon in my knee. It could have been worse, however, as the scooter was relatively unscathed.
The first couple of weeks were rather enjoyable – a novelty, if you will. My mornings were spent watching re-runs of Dallas, then lunch, and then a mix of Magnum P.I (the original series) and Cagney and Lacey.
As the weeks turned to months, the novelty soon wore off. Leaving the house was not an option, and as my desire for television decreased so did my overall mood.
It’s extremely easy to have a stiff upper lip but, for someone relatively active, I was starting to struggle and, on reflection, starting to get rather down in the dumps about the whole thing. I didn’t know if I’d walk properly again or if life would return to as it’d been. All from a ruddy scooter!
I harnessed the frustration and set out to do something, anything. I ran through the various options and figured I’d go with writing a book. I mean, how hard could it be, right?
The television was switched off from that point and I spent the next two months writing, diligently. All day, every day. It was so positive for my mental health – like a gym workout for my mind.
After three months, and lots and lots of learning, I published my first book. Proud was an understatement.
My experiences from the first scooter-related lockdown, served me well for this year’s one, as I continue to write.
It’s a well-worn cliché about old dogs and new tricks, but you can absolutely learn something new if you have the desire. Writing helped me through an exceptionally challenging time in my life and I’m grateful that I took the leap. It was scary putting yourself out there and also a steep learning curve.
I’m not suggesting you necessarily start writing, but, if you are faced with adversity – Covid lockdown, for example – do try something new. It could be a language, knitting, jigsaw, or whatever.
Take the bull by the horns and experience something you’ve never done before; you won’t regret it. Oh, unless it’s riding a children’s scooter, of course. I wouldn’t recommend that.
It’s funny how opportunity presents itself from adversity. Since my accident, I’ve written fourteen books, produced nine audio books, have a range of book inspired t-shirts and have been a best-selling author in the UK, Canada, and Australia.
I don’t say that to brag, far from it. I only say it to show that if you try something different, away from your comfort zone, then unbelievable, life changing things can happen.
Writing has, recently, now become my full-time job as I’ve left the day job to concentrate on doing something that I completely and utterly adore!
Be brave and try what you’ve always wanted to do! What’s the worst that can happen?