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Guest blogger: Amanda Knight

25 November 2018

This post is a little different to the one I’d planned when Debbie and the fabulous ARRA team scheduled my slot those many months ago. You see, this was the time I’d scheduled to celebrate the release of my Christmas novella—one of my two key writing goals for 2018—but, sometimes, life just doesn’t go to plan, and through situations you just can’t control, your best-laid strategies may not quite work out.

I’ve never been good at being okay with not achieving my goals … and to be honest, the acceptance of this outcome (book(s) not complete on time) for me, is recent, and truthfully, still a little raw. The double-edged sword of not writing to an external, contractually obligated deadline lessened the pressure in one respect … but made me even more attached to ‘finishing’ my next book, and linking this with ‘must have’ momentum in my writing career (lest I ‘miss the boat’, because time would ‘run out’.) That’s the chatter that played continuously in my head!

So, in the lead-up to penning this, I’d thought about a number of themes I could write about, to make lemonade from what felt like the sour lemons of failure (and a little shame) at not having ‘achieved’ what I said I would … and, what I’ve come to, is borne of the gift of a few hastily penned words from a dear friend, who reminded me of some really important things I’d lost sight of:

‘It’s okay to take a break, it’s okay to pause … it doesn’t mean you’ve failed, maybe focus on what you’ve learned, celebrate the small wins … there’s still time …’

I share these words, and this post, for anyone else—our ARRA members, authors, administrators and broader community—who may be struggling to let go of and accept the reality of unrealised goals, who are juggling difficult life circumstances that take up a lot of space, or who may just generally have strayed from the path of self-belief and kind self-talk (and if you’re all good, perhaps you could reinforce these things with those in your life not so on their game!)

In honour of celebrating what I’ve learned during this journey, here’s my top three thoughts to fill your glass (or soul) with something that resembles lemonade!

1. The words should’ve/could’ve/would’ve serve no purpose. When we’re busy focusing on the past, there’s no way we can take a step forward in the direction we want to go—try this instead ‘I could …’ it’s empowering and not steeped in guilt, shame or disappointment!

2. Don’t worry if you’re not where you want to be yet. Every day, a step whether few or many, is still taking us in the direction we want to go … they count, and it doesn’t matter the number—keep facing forward, keep moving, even if it’s slow. For me, I try to quiet the feeling of time running out, by reminding myself that people will be reading books until the end of time! And so even if I’ve only managed a few words, that’s still me moving forward!

3. What can derail us in life is the picture in our head of how it is ‘supposed’ to be. It’s okay for the landscape to change, for you to alter the path, change the dates … start again. Rubbing out and redrawing the picture isn’t failure, it’s simply a different way forward. Looking back at what wasn’t, didn’t, couldn’t … those thoughts are based on the ‘supposed-to’ stuff … not the ‘what’s possible next’ stuff—do-overs are still steps forward!

For as long as she can remember, award-winning author, Amanda Knight has been intrigued by the factors that motivate human behaviour, particularly crime … in the wrong hands, her Google research may take some explaining!

In 2017, Amanda’s debut novel, Situation Critical, won her the Australian Romance Readers Association Best New Author award, and Australian AusRom Today Best New Romance Author award.

When she’s not writing about psychopaths, love, loss and life, Amanda works in the field of people and culture, is a mum of three busy teenagers, and is slowly but surely growing her passion project: The Kindness Network.

You can find Amanda here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Situation Critical

Soldier, surgeon, traitor, dog …

With the theme of redemption at the heart of this story, Situation Critical is a sensual and heart wrenching romance within a fast-paced, military suspense. Filled with secrets, betrayal, murder and surprise twists, and the desperate search for a lovable, loyal dog, this story will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end!

6 Comments
  1. 26 November 2018 12:38 pm

    Very thoughtful post Amanda – we writers can be so tough on ourselves! xx

  2. 25 November 2018 11:30 pm

    Awesome post, Amanda.

  3. Melissa Smith permalink
    25 November 2018 9:20 pm

    Such wise and relevant words Amanda and look forward to reading your wonderful Christmas novella xx

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