Wiltshire journalist shares her story to inspire women throughout the UK

Have you ever thought – I’d like to write a book? I’d like to tell my story? Can I write a book? Would anyone actually be interested? 


As a person who does a lot of writing as part of my business, it may seem strange to tell you that I’ve often asked myself all of the above. When I was a child I always wanted to be an author but, as I got older I wondered if I truly had anything to say of value. I was also pretty sure I couldn’t sustain a story of fiction for long enough.

After several years of running my own business I realise that I do have a lot to say, and some people will want to hear it.


In fact, I’ve learned that we ALL have something to say and there will always be those who want to hear it. All of us have value.


Once I truly accepted this fact, I found it surprisingly easy to share one of my stories. I’m now in a place where I’m not worried about those who don’t want to listen – those people will always be around – I’m reaching out to those who are life’s do-ers. Those who at least have a go at their ‘thing’ and those who want to live life with few regrets.

This week, my first foray into writing about myself in a book came to fruition. The book – available on Kindle – is Playing & Staying At The Top of Your Game – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KB2XRYI .

It tells stories from a dozen business women from across the south west who want to encourage and inspire other women to try and to persevere if they want to start or develop their own business. Each story is very different. It’s thanks to my women’s business club – I Am Woman – that I’ve finally taken the plunge. I’m already thinking now about doing an entire book covering many aspects of my professional life.

My story shared in Playing & Staying At The Top of Your Game

My story shared in Playing & Staying At The Top of Your Game

My story about starting my own business and what I learned in those early days is not what you think. I’m not the business person who nurtured an idea, let it grow and then went into it with rose-tinted glasses and making a million in a month. My story is very different.

I had my dream job – and I lost it. I never wanted to be self-employed, I didn’t want to run my own business and I was devastated that life had thrown me such a curve ball. However, I couldn’t change the fact that this had happened. All I could control was what I did next – and that’s the story I tell. Looking back, I realise my more negative start actually stood me in good stead. It didn’t mean I didn’t make any mistakes – I made loads. But my view was always realistic and I seemed to be able to spot when something wasn’t working. To find out more, of course, you’re going to have to read the book.

Is this being arrogant? Some might think so – but why do we women often feel embarrassed about blowing our own trumpet? Is it because men think less of us? Not in my case – I actually think it’s more because some women think less of us. Some cannot stand the fact that others are more ‘out there’ than they are. Women can be women’s own worst enemies. Truth is, I don’t actually care what anyone thinks, those who are interested will read the book, those who are not – won’t.

So I’ll end on these two notes – the woman who writes thousands and thousands of words each year about others has now written some words about herself. She also remembers one very important lesson in life which has sustained her. It was a saying which a teacher, Christopher Drew, put into my autograph book on the day I left primary school back in the 1970s. It’s always reminded me that life is always a journey of discovery and, thankfully, there’s so much more left to learn:



Adoption – what was your experience? Good? Bad?

I can now write about the latest film I’ve produced for ITV Wales looking at adoption and special guardianship – called Forever Families.

Adoption is something you tend not to think about if you are a secure family unit – but the truth is that there are so many children out there who need help. But adoption has changed dramatically over the years and now we are in a situation where there are not enough people coming forward to adopt children. Note the use of that word. Adoption is rarely about babies now. It’s more likely to be about children and often siblings.

Why? Well, it seems from my research that it’s due to the fact that social services departments and the court system will give birth parents every possible chance to sort out their lives should their children be taken into care. This means that many children can be with foster carers for quite a long time before a final decision is made about their futures ie. should they be adopted? It’s a matter of debate about whether or not that’s a good thing.

Adoption - it ain't what it used to be.....

One reason, it’s suggested, for adoption not being as popular is the fact that the process takes a long time. A very, very long time. Adoptive parents have to go through a long assessment process, and if anything bad happens in their lives during that assessment period that can mean further delays. The families I interviewed both felt that delays were more about inefficiency and possible lack of resources, than about the child‘s welfare. However, one has only to think of Baby P to know that being careful can save lives.

I’d be really interested to hear any of your stories about adoption. Were you adopted? How has it affected your life? Have you tried to adopt and lost heart in the process? The Welsh Government is holding an inquiry into this issue and will be considering how to change the system by the end of 2012. It could lead the way when it comes to change….watch this space, I feel a follow-up coming  on…..



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