Monday, 21 November 2022

Unexpected Hope, positive day dreams and Folly Farm.

There seems to be so much that is not good going on at the moment, both nationally and internationally, and personally I feel very sad at the thought Twitter might go under, as it was such a life-line to me when I was in a very isolated situation as a carer looking after elderly parents, and led to me linking up with Nosy Crow when it first started, and also alerted me that my now agent, Anne Clark, had just set up and was seeking clients. I have seen so many lovely illustrations, and read so many amazing recommendations about books by other people, and received much appreciated positive feedback about my own, and I really feel I owe my career to it, and my life has been made better by all people I have met there, whether 'book' people or not.

However, I am trying to make an effort to look for any things to feel positive about in the present, and to support amplify them, on Twitter whilst it lasts and online but also in person, and to plan things to look forward to. 

I very recently had day surgery I had been on a waiting list for, for a problem I had had for years, but I nearly backed out at the last minute, because I looked on the internet and heard so many scare stories and about the genuine risks. In the end, the anaesthesist, who was lovely,  and a nurse who calmly talked to me, both reminded me that nothing is without risks, and also that there was also a strong possibility in my case that things would turn out very well. I had focused on the negative so much I was overwhelmed. With the support and encouragement of my family,  I decided to go ahead, and it ended up being very straightforward and successful, and now I am so glad and feel very lucky and so grateful I had it. I am so grateful to the nurse who came in when I was getting dressed to go home, who gave me an alternative, hopeful vision when fear was overwhelming me.

I remember Frank Cottrell Boyce (I think that it was him) once saying on Twitter something like (I can't remember the exact tweet) we need to imagine Utopias more. Maybe we need to use our gifts to think about positive future scenarios, where greed and lies don't ruin everything. As writers we are uniquely equipped to do that, and as Children's writers, who understand the need to keep Hope in a story, we are used to feeling duty-bound to leave the reader with something positive. Maybe we need to do this for ourselves too.

Now that today I am feeling so much better, I emailed to see if there was still a place on the Folly Farm retreat, because I really feel the need to meet with people and to celebrate the positive. I am very happy that there was still a place, and I am so grateful to those people who, remembering past happy events there, had a positive vision for the future, and were hopeful enough to  organise it in advance for next year. I am now really looking forward to going there for the first time in January. There are always things to worry about, but I know that if I don't actively look for good things, and make an effort to be grateful for them, I will lose my ability to cope with the bad, and I will lose Hope, and that, for a children's writer,  as well as just for me as a person, would be terrible. But, ending on a positive note, if, as writers, we do keep focusing on the Good, and do all we can to create Hope for the children we write for, we are helping increase the chances that things will turn out better than we might ever imagine!


Susan Price said...

Good wishes, Anne. Have a wonderful time at Folly Farm.

Anne Booth said...

Thank you Susan!