It was the best work experience I've ever had, and if there's anything I've learnt it is to talk to as many people as possible, be confident, kind, and invest in a packet of biscuits. I felt so privileged to have been offered such a rare insight to working life and each day I left the office happy, driven and ready for more!
When you're feeling overwhelmed or sad, it's incredibly easy to feel alone in this, and think that no one else would ever understand. But what I've found in poetry is that these very emotions and confused states of being you thought were so unusual and isolated to you, have been in fact the topic of address for many decades, and probably will continue to be so.
Sometimes it would be triggered by what was going on around me, what I was watching on TV or reading about and sometimes it was completely at random. For example, if a story about something bad came on the news (and let's face it a lot of the stories are) my mind would instantly race down this tunnel placing people I cared about in this exact situation.
For many years I believed that I wasn't a very confident person. This was mainly based on the idea that I had of what confidence was. From school onwards we are taught that to be confident is to be the child that always puts their hand up in class, the one that volunteers to read the next chapter out loud in English lesson, or takes the lead in group activities.
2015 was the year of the adult colouring book. Their popularity caused a spike in sales of physical titles as they sold in their millions, providing stocking fillers and Secret Santa gifts nationwide. Bestseller lists remain full of them well into 2016: wild flowers, swear words, Jeremy Corbyn - you name it, you can colour it in.
It's been a month since my debut novel Try Not to Breathe came out in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, and another couple of weeks before it comes out in America and then Germany. It's been thrilling, numbing, weird, wonderful and at times, raw and scary. I'm prouder than I thought possible but I've also learned a few things along the way.
If you've written a book, chances are you have at least considered self-publishing. There are many excellent reasons to self-publish, even if you have the chance to publish traditionally. Where self-publishing was once seen as the last recourse of the desperate, it has fast become valid method of publishing.