While I am certainly one of life’s oversharers, I’m not someone who finds it easy to talk about the dark and difficult times because who wants to hear about that, amirite? I’ve got another post all lined up with an overview of all the KICKASS things I did this year but honestly, what I’m about to say is way more important to me than the time I went to Wrestlemania (kind of) and needs to be said so here goes.
2013 has been crazy. While I’ve kept you all updated with my super funtimes adventures on Twitter and Facebook (and lately, Instagram and Vine – LOVE those mofos) there have been a lot of shitty things that I kept to myself. I’ve been ill a lot, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and had a super scary biopsy on a lump which thankfully turned out to be nothing but maaan, that’s not fun. Especially when one of your parents is very ill, one of your grandparents is very ill and the person you’ve loved the most, ever, is also potentially, very ill*. Oh and then there was the break up and my best friend moving away** and well, all kinds of fucking fun things that I wouldn’t have chosen to deal with if life’s little’s tests were optional.
The hardest part of living with the darkest days is that I’m a writer. A lot of my lovely and very well meaning friends will say things like ‘well, it’s all material for the books!’ and ‘thank god you don’t have to go into work every day with all this going on’ but of course, I do. Because I’m writing, I’m at work every second of every day. The stories never switch themselves off, especially when I’m up against deadline, which I have been, basically, all year long. My office is in my brain and unfortunately, that is where all the scary things live. It can be a bit tricky to write a sparkling romantic comedy when you’re sat alone in your apartment, scared that your lover/parent/grandparent won’t make it to see 2014.
But on the flipside, the most rewarding part of living with the darkest days, is that I’m a writer. My job is to tell stories and I have chosen to tell uplifting, life affirming stories that make people happy. Which in turn makes me happy. And it’s through my stories, your stories and all the books I love and cherish, that I know things will get better. That doesn’t mean I’ll get a happy ever after in 2014 but it does mean that things will change. In fact, I kind of know already that they’ll get worse before they get anywhere near better, but compared to the year I’ve had, I’ll take change and see where we go from there.
And so, I hope you understand how much your support throughout the year means to me. I have been on a crazy writing schedule for the last eighteen months because my brain has too many thoughts for me to keep up with and I desperately want to share all of them with you but when life gets in the way, disappearing inside your head and making up stories becomes very hard. There’s a really fine line between escaping into your imagination and not wanting to face your own thoughts because they’re all so bloody bleak. That fact that you took About a Girl and Tess in when I know a lot of you really only wanted Angela, made me so happy. And when I Heart Christmas hit the bestseller list, I did many little cries. So much of this year was spent in the dark, on a treadmill (some of it an actual treadmill because all of these health scares sent me into a workout frenzy) that I forgot to stop and enjoy the bright moments. And honestly, that was one of the brightest. And it was all down to you.
Which takes us on to 2014. I know there are going to be new challenges and I know there are sad times ahead but thankfully, there are also lots of exciting things too. What a Girl Wants will be out in July and I’m working on an ebook for Christmas that may or may not feature everyone’s favourite New York-based BFF. And if that isn’t enough for you, I’ve agreed to write FOUR more books for HarperCollins, which should see us all through 2017. TWENTY-SEVENTEEN. Or tqo thousand and seventeen. Nowever you want to say it, it’s still terrifying.
Anyway, this has gone on a bit but really, all I wanted to say was thank you. This year really has been the biggest test for me and I don’t know how well it would have gone without you all in my corner. Here’s to a happy, healthy and positive 2014 for everyone. And if Michael Fassbender happens to read this and feels bad for me, I am still single and I would totally take a pity date. Totally. So you know, call me.
* It turned out my ex wasn’t dying and was completely OK and I didn’t eat, sleep or work for a fortnight for nothing. Which was brilliant. Until I had to break things off two months later which was completely fucking soul destroying. But that’s another fun story for another fun time!
** And my best friend is moving back! Thanks universe!