My sense of direction is awful. So much so, my ability to get myself easily lost, has taken on legendary proportions among my family and friends. The most famous occasion being a few years ago when Mum and I made a trip to Ikea in Edinburgh; only to find ourselves heading towards Glasgow looking at signs for the SECC. I can vividly remember the look of panic stricken horror on Mum’s face as she pulled into off into a random industrial estate repeating over and over “I'm not driving in Glasgow.” Eventually, we had to phone my Dad at work for help. His tone of disbelief was clear as he tried to stifle laughter whilst repeating “you’re where?”
So when I visited my friend Elaine in Tillicoultry recently and she warned me that a nearby road was closed. I suspected I may be in trouble. Given our friendship started at a RAF recruitment day and her appreciation of my kooky personality. I knew she would understand if I ran slightly late. The journey went well up until I began to see signs for Stirling Castle. Stopping the car, I asked Mr Google for help and whilst he debated with the local signal tower, I saw that I had a text message from Elaine. Given my friend perpetually runs 20 minutes late. I realised I had driven for the best part of an hour in the wrong direction. Turning I retraced my steps, arriving at my destination to find Elaine doubling over with laughter at my latest misadventure.
My ability to get myself lost led me to my creative life. I stumbled onto my passion for writing by accident. In my previous existence, I was more than happy than happy to be a desk bound version of Cagney and Lacey. Were it not for my tango with PTSD, I would still be there trying to solve the disjointed puzzles of information. Whilst pretending I was happy to live a life without creative expression. The road of creativity can be treacherous at best. There is no set path from A to Z to go from the point of creation to success. The point of success being a notion that’s so personal it’s unique to the individual who seeks it. I had no clear destination in mind when I began writing my fantasy series. The initial idea being so delicate I thought I could achieve what I wanted in a short story. Now looking back, from where I am now, nearing the end of the last book of a trilogy, I am proud of myself for having the faith to keeping going.
So, if I can leave you with one parting wish, I would like it up be this; buckle up and enjoy the ride. Exhilarate at the rush as you ride the creative roller coaster. The road may be uncertain but you will never regret the choice you made to start the journey. In leaving behind the rules you will gain something infinitely more precious; your creative soul, alive and free. Perhaps one day, I to get from A to B without having an interesting tale to tell. Until then, I will appreciate it makes life a little bit more interesting, adding more fuel to the fire of my family lore. Until then, I will pick up my pen and follow the diverted road.