LifeWriting

The Jigsaw

Two weeks ago I went to London to meet with an agent. The agent in question agreed to represent a book I am co-writing with Anstey Spraggan about step-parenting. I’m delighted to say that we have started work on the proposal and sample material with an editor and hopefully that will be complete to the deadline we have been given.

I went on holiday straight after the meeting and this gave me chance to think about what had happened in more detail. I have been searching for an agent to represent my work for several years now, and had some interest throughout last year. It’s been this latest project, ironically the one which is closest to my academic work, that has finally allowed me to put another piece in the jigsaw.

Although I’ve always striven for personal excellence, I’ve never taken for granted the collaborative nature of the world and the way that people benefit form this. As my main aim in writing, both fiction and non-fiction, is to explore identity construction and apply this exploration, I’ve seen my journey through these previously highly academic concepts in terms of bringing them to everyday understanding as a kind of jigsaw. Sometimes the pieces are handed to me with no effort and sometimes they are earned.

With help from many other people and organisations, I’ve gained lots of pieces pieces and put them together, eagerly awaiting a glimpse of the final picture. Every time I think I know what it is, and put in another piece, it changes. This current piece has opened up a whole new world of exciting possibilities, at one end of the axis, and restrictions on the other. My job now is to find the balance.

So now, as two hard won pieces finally go some way to the completion of the puzzle (I now have an agent and my Identity, Health and Women book is published on 24th September), I need to search for the way forward.

Someone asked me the other day why I’m constantly pushing myself to do this? The answer was simple. Because I can. Because I am privileged enough to be able to help other people in some non-gratuitous way. I might be misguided at times and take a wrong turn, but at the end of the day if another person benefits, then I’m happy. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that I was sitting with the first piece of the puzzle in my hand looking for answers.

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