I was searching back through old emails at the weekend, looking for some filed information, when I came across one written to a friend four years ago, almost to the day.
It described what is now believed to have been an early MS relapse, but which I largely ignored back then. It also brought home to me how ill Son 1 was at the time and how naive I was in thinking then that once we had the proper professional input he would get better and back into education quickly. It took so much longer than I ever would have believed and affected my life in so many ways.
In the email I was excited about my OU A215 Creative Writing course, in which I was getting good marks despite everything going on around me. I was full of enthusiastic writing plans for the future...write a novel (tick), do an MA (shelved), use these as a springboard to other things, perhaps teaching.
As I read I realised that some of that early enthusiasm has been drained from me. I've become much more realistic about life, some might even say negative. Don't get me wrong, I'm still enthusiastic about writing, I'm excited about the plans for novel two which are coming together and I know it will be a challenge to write. But all this is tempered by the current state of publishing and media, by the difficulties of breaking in and the urgent need to make even a little money. I also have to take into account my physical need to pace myself nowadays.
But I'm not going to let all that put me off. I'm a persistent person and I usually achieve what I set out to do in the end...