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  • Sarah J Maxwell

Inspired to dream, inspired to write

“I am not at all in a humor for writing; I must write on till I am.' Jane Austen

The trickiest hurdle to overcome, should you choose to dedicate yourself to writing, is time. Life is busy. Family, jobs, pets, homes to maintain, mental health to maintain. If there is time at the end of a busy day, don’t you deserve the luxury of a long bath, or guilt-free indulgence of some TV with a glass of wine?

There are very many reasons why the dream is only ever that. A dream.

Except, there is ALWAYS time. I’m not an ideal role-model because I'm lucky enough to be able to dedicate a few hours every day to writing, but not long ago, my children were young, I had a job, an elderly Mum who was dependent on me, pets to care for, all the dastardly things that comes with owning a home – cleaning, cooking etc. I also had a child experiencing severe mental health issues that resulted in missed sleep, missed school, doctor appointments, all of which took their toll on me, too.

Even so, most evenings I wrote something. I chose late evenings because I’m rubbish in the morning, but it meant sometimes missing I'm a Celebrity and sacrificing my amateur acting life.

I'm largely inspired by sporting legends (too many to mention), all of whom sacrificed to get where they wanted to be – to live the dream. Growing up my idols were Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean. King and Queen of the ice. But they weren’t born with a natural ability they 'tweaked' over a couple of years until attaining World and Olympic Gold. Chris was a policeman, Jayne worked for the local Council, and they would get up EVERY MORNING at 5am to practice. FOR YEARS.

Most of us can find something or someone to inspire us: music, nature, family members, regular people who roll up their sleeves and get on with life. We all know people who have suffered, yet live and thrive and do great things, become great people.

I have my literary inspirations – Jane Austen the biggest one. She wrote with a quill, folks! I love Leigh Bardugo and recently discovered she spends a great part of every waking moment in pain.

I'm no athlete, certainly no Austen or Bardugo, and truth be told, I have lived a charmed life, but I have been inspired and now I write. Even when I’m tired and not ‘feeling’ it, giving up is not an option. I accepted many rejections and strived to evolve.

I kept dreaming.

Set your goals high and take the first step on what might be a long journey, but don’t ever feel guilty about falling (not to be confused with failing). We - all of us - need to take time for ourselves (be it that bath or glass of wine). Just, keep striving and one day, you’ll get there.

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