New beginnings can be scary. The main reason being that it normally follows an ending. In my forty-something years, I have had a few new beginnings, and with each new beginning – whether it was when I moved to Singapore, or decided to concentrate all my efforts into becoming a writer, ending a marriage, becoming a single mother or moving from London to Devon, they have all been scary, and had an aspect of endings in them. But they also were part of my search for my happy ending, or my very own Ticket to Happiness. None of them come with regrets, but some of them come with heartbreak!
When I wrote The Ticket To Happiness, I got to return to my favourite place, Meadowbrook Manor, and the Singer family, all of whom I adore, but I wanted to bring in a new character who was facing a huge new beginning. Brooke Walker moves from California to Somerset, on her own and she is facing a huge change and new beginning.
Writing it made me think about how in our search for our own happiness, we do often look in the wrong places, or the wrong people, before we finally and hopefully get it right!
A new beginning is a wonderful thing, but it can also be terrifying. If you move to a new area you need to make new friends, if you start a new job there is pressure and stress, new relationships can be wonderful but also daunting. So here is my personal advice for new beginnings:
- • Think clearly about what your new beginning is going to be. Whether leaving a relationship, job, area or taking up new challenges, make sure you give it enough thought. Don’t see it as negative, look only at the positive aspects and then when you’re as sure as you can be, go for it.
- • Be brave. Take a deep breath, puff out your chest and take that leap. It might not work out but it will lead you to your next step in life.
- • Don’t think about failure. If we went into our new beginning expecting it to end, we’d be too scared to do anything. Always think this is the right move for you, right now, and if it doesn’t work out for any reason, you chalk that up to experience. There isn’t failure in life, I believe, as long as you keep going. Giving up is the only failure.
- • Don’t beat yourself up if your life isn’t where you expected it to be by this point. Most people feel the same. But by taking control of your life and looking to make big changes you are always moving forward. Every path is a different length, tread your own path, take your own time, and move at your own pace.
- • Enjoy it. The wonderful thing about a new beginning is that it is like a blank page. When I start writing my books each one is a new beginning on a blank page and I look at life like that. I write my own story, and yes, sometimes the plot doesn’t go quite where I plan it to, but that’s life for you (and fiction to be quite honest). Enjoy yourself, look for the fun in your new beginning.
- • We can only control what we can control. When we accept this, it makes writing our story so much better. Embrace the new opportunities and don’t dwell on things which are outside of our control, that will keep you where you are, and stop you moving forward.
In the Meadowbrook series, there are lots of new beginnings for different characters, it’s a theme I love writing about, mainly because it’s something I can identify with. I have had a number of new beginnings, and I may have more, although this time my son will always be with me, and hopefully so will my books!