For a long, long time I had wanted a creative outlet and it came as a total shock that that outlet would be the written word.
Now, I am not kidding myself, I do know I will never win any Pulitzer prizes for writing but as someone once wrote, ‘there are horses for courses’. The response to my fortnightly column has been utterly shocking. Shocking in a great way, because I never guessed that anyone would want to read what I write. I am both relieved and excited that the opposite is true.
So a year ago, after a few glasses of red, I saw an advert looking for women to contribute to an online magazine. The editor, pregnant with her sixth child (yes that got my attention!) wanted three women writers; a mother, a wife and a woman. My first thought? I would love to do that. So I very hastily sent off a scrambled email (remember I am two glasses of wine down at this point!).
When the morning came I felt a little embarrassed that I would have step forward for such a thing having no experience of writing for a public audience at all and wondering what on earth I could contribute anyway…..
Two days later my email got a response. ‘I like the sound of you Sarah. Tell me a bit about yourself. And, have you ever been published?’ And there it was, the death knell. Published? Me? Er, no…whatever that really means. So, that was the calibre of contribution the editor was looking for….hmmm, seems I was out of my depth, completely. Still, one must be polite and finish what one has started and so I replied in that listy, chatty, ranty, (all actual words!) and humorous way that I call ‘my style’!!
And guess what. Well, you know what. I got offered the gig. Would I write the Mother Column? YESSSSS (be cool Sarah) please. And I am very happy in my Mother role, both of them in fact. I felt super shy at first about sharing personal detail but once I learnt that I was totally in control of what, if anything, I chose to show you all it got a whole lot more comfortable. Some weeks are easier than others and somehow ideas always come (eventually, our editor is a VERY patient woman!), and the best bit is that someone always feels the same or has had the same experience and is kind enough to respond in that manner. Communicating on such personal subjects feels like a responsibility, an honour and a privilege, and I really mean that.
And so our Diamonds and Daisychains community continues to grow and I can tell you it is a friendly, fun and exciting place to be. As an online family we have come such a long way in a really short space of time. I have been allowed to develop as a writer and where I once felt very shy, I now feel much more confident, and in all areas of my life. This is because I have been given encouragement, support and the creative freedom to find that style I referred to. I now couldn’t imagine not documenting some of my weekly thoughts and events.
I need to say a big thank you to the beautiful and generous Kate Seamark for having such vision (with the website) and for showing such incredible energy. Thank you Kate for taking a punt on me. Thank you importantly too to my colleagues for being brilliant and clever and creative and open and honest.
And maybe the biggest thank you should be to my two crazy girls who have no idea what an inspiration they are.
It’s been a year-long selfie, and I think I am looking pretty good. Diamonds and Daisychains, you are looking pretty fine too. Happy 1st Birthday.