This blog began as a midlife crisis. It was the first thing I’d written in 20 years that wasn’t a commercial copywriting gig or a university essay. All my life I’d wanted to ‘be a writer’. I’d just turned 40 and was ripe for a bit of middle-aged recklessness.
In January 2013 my long-suffering husband and I packed up the kids and moved to rural Central Otago for what I called a ‘midlife gap year’. I documented the ensuing fun, folly and existential angst here. I slowly, creakily, began to write.
The gap year turned into two when I enrolled in a Master of Creative Writing course back in Auckland. Two gap years gave way to a third – not quite gap, but definitely gappy – in which we uprooted the kids again and transplanted them to London.
The crisis isn’t over. I hope to look back on it as a time of transition: a sometimes difficult, often exhilarating passage into the second half of my life. The half where I become, eventually, the kind of writer who can call herself that without air quotes or a blush.
I’m 40. Married for half a lifetime. The mother of two high-octane boys, small but thankfully evolving into something approaching civilised. I live on the fringe of a pleasant seaside suburb of central Auckland, full of creative entrepreneurs, expensive-casual media types and ex-funky professionals. I’m a distance ocean swimmer, when I get round to it. I read novels, or used to before I started spending too much time late at night pecking at a blog of undefined purpose.
I’ve been a freelance copywriter for about 10 years, following too many years at university scraping together an MA in English literature and a brief flirtation with law. For the last three years I’ve been slowly burning myself out with a caustic cocktail of relentless deadlines, parental juggling and imperfect distribution of domestic responsibilities. Now I’m taking a run at the chicken-wire fence, hoping to muster enough momentum and and sheer willpower to finally fly the coop.