By Helen Aitchison
Our lives are riddled with self-doubt. Some more than others. We worry, analyse and focus on the negative.
‘I can’t do it!’
‘It’ll never work!’
‘What’s the point?’
We’ve all heard it and we’ve all said it. We are our own harshest judge, most fussy critic and the one often unable to cheer ourselves on at the sidelines. Yet we champion, encourage and support others, igniting the flame of hope in people.
Someone once said to me, ‘The only failing is never trying.’ It’s stuck with me in all that I do and especially in my writing.
My whole career in social care has been built on believing in others until they can believe in themselves: being the voice of the unheard, an advocate, one who empowers. Yet I doubted myself as a writer as it wasn’t my educational background or training. That was until a competition caught my eye, making me feel the excitement and possibilities, like popping candy reacting in my mind. I entered the competition, I won and I have never stopped writing since.
That was just over two years ago and in the last two years, I have secured a publishing deal for my debut novel, The Dinner Club. I’ve had around 20 short pieces published across anthologies, magazines and websites, as well as working as a journalist at a local radio station.
I took a chance on myself. I was kind to myself and believed in myself, even if I wasn’t 100% confident. Our lives are fast-paced and stressful. Life can be beautiful, magical and brilliant, but it gets in the way of dreams and hopes at times. Don’t let that dream pass. Don’t give up on that hope, that ambition and desire. Nurture it, let it flourish or at least give it the chance to grow.
Write about what you know, what feels safe and comfortable. Then once you build up your experience, be bold and challenge yourself. Explore your imagination. Writing is something that should be shared, sprinkled across the world, far and wide like raindrops of escapism and comfort.
So go for it and remember, the only failing is never trying!
About the Author
Helen Aitchison is a North-East England based author who has been writing for two years. She has had a number of poems and short stories published in a variety of anthologies and online collections. Signed with Cahill Davis Publishing, her debut novel, The Dinner Club, will be released in March 2022.
Incorporating her love for writing, Helen is a Journalist at Radio Gateshead.
She had worked in health and social care for two decades, currently managing a large portfolio of services in the North East of England for vulnerable adults and children. In any spare time she has, she enjoys reading, exercise and travel.