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Chasing Dreams: Part 3 – What If?

If you’ve read my biography you may have noticed that music teacher doesn’t actually feature in there.  Given my struggles with my music A level, my parents encouraged me to have a backup plan just in case my musical aspirations didn’t work out (again).  With that in mind I went to University to study business administration.  From there the move into accountancy seemed a natural progression. Somehow along the way my backup plan became my reality. Looking back I can’t say I have any regrets.  Fortunately, I like the career that I inadvertently ended up in, but then if I hadn't I’d like to think I’d have been more resistant. Despite my change of direction though, I continued to write. Music no longer featured in my career aspirations but it still lingered in my dreams.   I had notebooks filled with song lyrics. A random line, a verse or chorus, or even whole songs were locked away within their pages. Their existence however was known only to me. By this point I’d already failed at
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Guest Post: Jack Steele - Chasing Dreams

I'm thrilled to invite author and friend Jack Steele to the guest blog this week: I had the idea of a crime fiction novel in my head for a number of years, but full-time employment and to be honest, a large dose of procrastination let the years drift by. After divorce, my life revolved around raising my two teenage children, so my dreams went on hold. I was extremely lucky to find a job closer to home which was a huge drop in salary, but it afforded me quality time to spend with my son and daughter. When my adult children left home to start lives of their own, I met Sue and a few years later we were married. We enjoyed holidays together and I began to read again which ignited the desire to write my own story. The crime fiction novels I read were either so descriptive that they lacked pace   or so many characters that I became confused with who was actually in the library with the lead piping. I realised that I had to write a novel based on my own preferences. To gain confidence

Guest Post: Catherine Miller - Continually chasing the dream

This weeks guest blog comes from fantastic friend and author Catherine Miller: Continually chasing the dream! I’ve come to the conclusion, that to become a successful writer, you don’t need a degree in writing, you need one in waiting. We often talk about “chasing the dream”, but if it were ever turned into a documentary there would be no high speed chases involved. Instead, we’d all be in one big waiting room continually refreshing our emails. This is why the Great British Pottery Throwdown has had several series, but no writing programs have ever taken over our tellies. That said, there is a certain magic to getting the call or the email that can change the course of your life. But the real trick is to make sure that occurs again and again and again. So, I thought that I’d share what I’ve learned along the way. ·         Continuing to write is the only thing that matters. There are going to be bad reviews, there are going to be books that don’t sell as well, there will be rej

Guest Post: Christina Hollis - Saying Yes to Every New Opportunity

This week's guest is author Christina Hollis, sharing her story about facing her fears when she decided to stick to her new year's resolution: Until recently, I couldn’t say boo to a koala, let alone a goose. That all changed when I discovered — after it was far too late to back out! — that keeping one of my New Year’s Resolutions meant facing several of my fears all at once. I’d been writing romance for a long time and loving it when Pen and Sword Books asked me to write a non-fiction book about the women of Bristol. Much as I enjoy the romance genre, I agreed to the Pen and Sword offer as a few weeks earlier, I’d made a New Year’s Resolution to say “yes” to every new opportunity. This commission was my chance to get back to my roots in more ways than one. I began my career by writing non-fiction articles for magazines, and I’d be revisiting my family’s origins, too. I was born on the Somerset side of Bristol. Every Saturday we visited my grandparents who lived on the

Guest Blog: Karen King - If At First You Don’t Succeed….

This week I am delighted to welcome the lovely  Karen King to the blog to share her Chasing Dreams story. If At First You Don’t Succeed…. I’ve always admired those people who go off on motorbike treks across Europe or drive off into the sunset with just a suitcase in the back of the car. I love the idea of being able to jump on my bike/motorbike or get in my car and take off but having my own transport has always being a difficult one for me. When my childhood attempts at learning to ride a bike ended up with me being thrown off and landing headfirst in a litter bin, I decided that cycling wasn’t for me. A couple of years later, riding on the back of my then boyfriend’s motor bike, the wind blowing against my face, I decided that I’d like a motorbike of my own, but an early marriage and family put paid to that. Later, as my children got older and finances weren’t so tight, I decided to learn to drive so that I could ferry the children around and go shopping without getting a taxi hom

Chasing Dreams: Part 2 – Facing My Fears

It’s funny how one event can cause you to change your plans for the future.  When I was little I had always dreamed of being a musician.  I played three instruments (flute, clarinet and piano), I was part of the school orchestra and the community wind band. Whilst my friends were busy chasing one another around the playground, I was chasing after my dream.  However, after my singing career failed to launch I discovered something new about myself... I suffered from stage fright. I was fine during rehearsals.   I was reasonably okay performing on stage in the orchestra, (there were enough of us to be fairly confident that I wouldn’t be abandoned in a solo again). But as a solo performer, even when I intended upfront to be one, stage fright kicked in. I revised my plans as a result.   Performance was no longer a realistic career objective. Instead I decided I wanted to teach others how to play. It seemed the ideal solution, enabling me to continue to play the music I loved and e

Guest Post: Jane Cable - Business Plan or Butterfly Net?

Today I'm excited to welcome Jane Cable to the blog to share her journey chasing her dreams. Business Plan or Butterfly Net? I was amused a few months ago when I found a worksheet from a course I attended in 2001, and discovered I had written down that my life goal was to write a best-selling novel. At the time, like Elaina, I was working as an accountant. I had just started my own business and even finding the time to write a book seemed pretty much impossible. But three years later, I did find myself writing. There had always been stories in my head, but this one seemed to need to find its way onto my computer. And somehow I did find the time; first thing in the mornings, and when my husband was working late. Odd hours opened up around me and I was on my way. The phrase ‘chasing dreams’ implies a certain randomness, and for me conjures images of running around with a butterfly net. Yet hunting down your dreams sounds decidedly unromantic, although to the business strategist