When Life Grabs You By The Surprises by Wendy H. Jones


I have now been an author for eight years and my journey has been full of surprises most of them of the delightful kind. Occasionally, one comes along which isn't quite so pleasant, and I have learnt to roll with the punches. I was taken by surprise today that it was actually the 16th of the month, the day I was due to put this blog up. As I'm knee deep in an editing project I couldn't muster up a single original thought to help my fellow authors. It was then I realised that this could make a great topic in itself. What do we, as authors, do when life takes us completely by surprise? 

If the surprise is a joyful one, the first thing we do is celebrate and party our little socks off. Well, maybe not party like it's 1999 as we are still in the middle of a covid pandemic. However, marking it in some way seems appropriate. I've had a couple of lovely surprises over the past few months. Firstly, I was given a grant by The Society of Authors for a research trip to Antigua. I did have small dance around the sitting room and raised, if not a glass of bubbly, at least a glass of a rather nice rosè. Then I started planning and booked it all. Then I started worrying as the Covid rules in Scotland, England, and Antigua keep changing. So, I spend inordinate amounts of time checking to see if anything else has changed. Of course, there is also the airport chaos which is causing flights to be delayed or cancelled, and for luggage to remain behind in the UK whilst the owners have flown off to sunnier climes. More surprises than one body can worry about. 

Another nice surprise was that I was notified I'd been given a grant by the Scottish Authors' International Travel Fund to speak at a conference in Virginia, USA in September. I am delighted. In order to get it I needed to fulfil a load of criteria and, thankfully, I could tick every one. The result of this is that I am now planning that trip and worrying about yet another country's covid rules. 

In addition to worrying about all the rules I've also been in a self imposed isolation for a couple of weeks. I am fully vaccinated but haven't yet had covid, so I'm keeping out of the way until I start my journey. One more thing to worry about.

But, do you know what, it's all worth it. The best we can do is enjoy the good surprises, do our best to mitigate the less joyful ones, and roll with the punches. As authors, we are used to throwing our characters in at the deep end and sometimes that's what happens in real life. We had a saying when I was in the services - it's not what goes wrong, it's how you deal with it. I could not agree more. Deal with it with grace and humour and we can move forward.

Finally, I am hoping you will forgive me for the lateness of this post. I'm off to Antigua in six days, so I am sure my next blog post may have a hint of Caribbean rum punch about it. See you then and I'll raise a glass of punch to you when I'm in the country.

About the Author

Wendy H. Jones is an award-winning, international best-selling author who writes adult crime books, young adult mysteries, children's picture books and non-fiction books for writers. She is also a writing and marketing coach, runs the Writing Matters Online School and is the CEO of Authorpreneur Accelerator Academy, The president of the Scottish Association of Writers and hosts The Writing and Marketing Show podcast. She is currently writing a series of historical fiction novels based around the life of a 19th Century Surgeon in the Royal Navy. 


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Peter Leyland said…
'It's not what goes wrong, it's how you deal with it', is a saying I often repeat to myself Wendy. It's great to read about all the good fortune you are encountering in the writer's life. I am a great one for optimism, although it's probably not always reflected in my posts, and I often despair about the world. I hope you have a great time in Antigua. I'll be thinking of you raising that glass of punch when I'm in Corfu celebrating my silver wedding very soon. Thanks for the uplifting post
Ruth Leigh said…
The reaction of a true writer! We've all been there, realising that we're due to post and don't have a single solitary thing to say. Totally agree with your ethos - things will always go wrong, but our reaction to the challenge is what matters and what shapes us. Looking forward to a nice rum-soaked post (with plenty of pictures) in May

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