Here is Liz's
blog about life after 50, a veritable rebirth!
Well, there I was fifty and clinically depressed with little hope of getting out of bed never mind actually achieving something until … with the help of my family, I decided NO MORE! A revision of medication, a change in lifestyle and a fantastic Dynamic Therapy counsellor set me on the path to recovery.
I had always dabbled in writing but lacked the focus and determination to further it. I had a pile of half-written manuscripts and stories on my lap top and a vivid imagination. When I saw the advert for the MA in Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University I applied, despite feeling unsure of whether I could commit to such an undertaking.
Thank goodness, I did! At my interview, the tutor told me to complete the first draft of my crime fiction novel so that we could fine-tune it during the MA. I did that and with the stimulus of being with like-minded, supportive writers, I thrived. I started approaching agents again and after many rejections I was lucky enough to be offered a two-book deal with Bloodhound books. Now, less than a year after graduating with a distinction, I have two books published Unquiet Souls and Uncoiled Lies. I’ve just signed a further three-book deal and my third novel Untainted Blood is due out late summer.
So, what has this whole experience taught me: Well, certainly that I need to take charge of my depression and find ways to manage it. I do this by being vigilant of the warning signs that signal a mood dip and I take action. I allow myself space when I need it. I use my SAD light and most importantly I share my feelings with my family.
However, it’s also taught me that I can achieve things that I never thought possible before. My age is no barrier and in fact can help. I accept my limitations, but whereas before I would have been confined by them, now I push them… I accept that my concentration is poorer than before and so I adapt how I work to accommodate that. I know that retaining information takes longer than previously and so I take copious notes and use a variety of brightly coloured pens and note pads to help me. I ensure that I look after myself by doing the things keep me healthy … my writing is my escape, but it’s also my salvation. It restores my energy and stimulates my brain. Mind you, it also on occasion frustrates me… but that’s what lets me know I’m alive and living life!