I’ve been a closet writer for around two years now. Typing away at secret projects that quite magically have resulted in a contract due from the States today for me to sign. And hopefully transform my life.
The contract isn’t for a book, but within the contract is provision for a book. A book of my life in bellydance. Of my lovely girls and of the adventures we’ve had along the way.
A writer friend told me that the best time to write is first thing in the morning, before the brain starts worrying away at the mundane tasks of the day. I’m not an early riser by nature, but I discovered he was right. As a result, for large chunks of the past two years I’ve woken and got straight out of bed and to the computer. Not stopping to shower, not stopping to dress. All I do is grab a coffee and power up the Mac.
I don’t understand why, but I love writing. I don’t know what it is about it, why it makes me so happy. After all, isn’t it reminiscent of school? Isn’t it terribly solitary? Aren’t there an awful lot of grammatical rocks to stumble over? But for some reason writing gives me enormous pleasure and I’ve never faced the thing writers fear most of all – a blank mind when faced with a blank page. I just get stuck in.
And what could possibly be more wonderful than what I’m doing right now? Sitting in my sun dress, at a shady table in my beautiful garden in Kent. The early morning sun is shining, a bumble bee is foraging in the flowers at my feet and the birds are singing their hearts out.
One of the best times I wrote was on holiday in Turkey last summer. I had taken it upon myself to write something that was really important to me and I decided I needed a clear head to do it. We had a holiday booked and it seemed the perfect opportunity – away from the demands of running a school and an annual festival.
So, every morning I would leave Paul snoozing in bed and walk through the gardens of our tiny hotel and down to the beach. There I would settle into a large beachside lounger and, with a pot of Turkish coffee by my side and my computer on my lap, I would write the morning away.
It was a protected beach - loggerhead turtles were laying their eggs there that very week. So it was quiet and peaceful. No music, no beach hawkers, no motorboats. Just the sound of the waves and the chirping of the newly hatched chicks that roamed the hotel grounds with their mothers.
Maybe it was all that new life – the baby turtles, the golden chicks – or maybe there was just an air of magic in the place. But the piece I wrote there took on a life of its own and, within a month of that holiday, a handsome young man walked across a dance floor and spoke the words that were to change my life.
But that’s a story for another day…