My debut novel, A Beautiful Game was released just over two years ago and, at the same time, I was undergoing intensive pain management therapy, and counselling for PTSD, after being involved in a nasty accident. I was struggling to get up each morning, and I wasn’t able to concentrate long enough to watch a TV programme, let alone read a book or think about writing anything new.
But I had a character in my head, and so I decided to get out my laptop and see what, if indeed anything, would happen...
The character turned out to be Cathy, the girl in my new novel, Wings to Fly. And Cathy had a story to tell. In the end, it’s a very different story from my first novel, and it’s one I’m very proud of.
Writing Wings to Fly taught me many things. I learned the importance of resilience and didn’t let my struggles stop me from doing one of the things I love best - writing. I also learned to be patient and kind to myself. There were days when I couldn’t sit long enough to get my words on the page. There were days when the pain shouted louder than my thoughts. And there were days when I was too heavily medicated to write anything. But I didn’t give up.
And now, two years later, Wings to Fly is due to be launched. Am I nervous? Yes, terrified. A Beautiful Game received such fantastic reviews, and people still contact me to tell me how much they’ve enjoyed reading it. So, of course, I have second book nerves. But most of all, I’m just proud. I’m proud to see what can be achieved even when we’re at our lowest.
So why am I sharing all of this with you?
Well, every time I hear someone speak about living with physical or mental pain, I feel a little less alone and a little more normal. So let’s keep talking!
Emma Mooney is a writer of Scottish contemporary fiction and is the author of A Beautiful Game. and Wings to Fly.