When I first started this blog on Jan 1st 2017, I had no idea what it was going to be. I just felt called to commit to writing every day, not knowing what would come, but knowing that the only way I’d see it through would be to make it public and to do it for a good cause.

I’m writing this now on Day 93, a quarter of the year has passed, and I’ve written and published Every Single Day. I’m so proud of myself.

Some things about me:

When I was seven years old, I played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in the school play. I totally still think I’m Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

Fifteen years ago, I wrote a PhD thesis on life-writing and psychoanalysis called ‘The Writing Cure.’ When I’d finished, I worked for years helping people to write their life-stories. I believe passionately in the power of story to heal and transform not just us, but our communities and our world.

I’ve been a blocked writer for years.

Seven years ago, my world was turned upside down when my marriage broke down and I was left a single parent to my very young son. I have worked hard ever since to rebuild my self, my life, my identity and to create a sense of belonging and of home in that new world.

Writing here each day is like tapping the heels of my ruby slippers together: one, two, three. It takes me home.

 

A quarter of a year in, the blog is starting to gather shape and I can see what it is. It tells the story, in its own unique way, of how I learned to heal myself and to find myself as a single parent. The driving in the dark thread, which will run in instalments throughout the year, unfolds that narrative chronologically. Although it’s dark at times and sad, it’s really the story of a recovery from a dark time: the story, if you like, of how I lost a penny and found a pound. And that’s why I want to share it.

The other daily posts are mostly short poems and haikus and these are the result of my commitment to finding something every day – a memory, an impression of something I see or hear, a story, a thought, an idea – that I find compelling and beautiful enough to write about. They say a lot about me and my life. They are like little treasures that I collect and share as I go through each day.

Peppered throughout the blog are my reflections on writing. This is the story of the story and my thoughts on the process, how it is unfolding and what it means to me. When I was writing ‘The Writing Cure,’ there were no blogs to speak of, no social media, and I’m fascinated to learn by doing how these forms affect the kinds of stories we now choose to share and the ways in which we do it. This feels very much like fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants life-writing and it’s new to me: exciting and scary in equal measure.

I hope you find something here to inspire you. I hope there’s something here to give you heart if you’re having a hard time. Mostly, I hope my writing inspires you to tell your own stories. I want to hear them.

I’m writing the blog to raise money for Shelter. If you’d like to support and donate, you can do that here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/drivinginthedark