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This week was tough. I kept having panic attacks silently as I consulted with a freelance client of mine on their content strategy. It’s the strangest thing, isn’t it? There may be monsters deep below, raging and tearing us apart, but the ripples of our inner torment never reach the surface.

My face stayed serene and the words which came out my mouth were the creative advice and strategies I needed to be giving.

The same when I sat down at my hot desk in their offices near Moorgate. I calmly began researching and writing my pieces, but inside I wanted to run away and hide. A huge panic reared inside me like an angry serpent, one that wanted to take my love of writing and destroy it. A serpent with the face of my old boss, who took my confidence and ate it alive.

I hate him. I’ll always hate him for that. But I can’t let that hate block me from going where I need to go. He lives in Canada; geographically it would be hard for us to be further apart. But mentally he haunts me still.

The panic attacks this week have made me ill. My throat is swollen and sore, my nose and ears hurt. And nobody knows. They’re like a dirty secret hidden inside of me. Nobody knows how much what has happened has hurt me. It’s made me question everything and doubt even more.

But it has made me realise something too. He may have told me I have no talent and no ability, but what’s happened has deepened my love for writing. In taking it away from me briefly, he made me realise how much it means to me. It’s made me drive to be better at it, to write my fiction and my stories. My adoration for the written word has deepened. Perhaps in that sense, I should be thankful to him.

It fills me with trepidation for my next step and what it is I want. Truthfully, I wish I could just sit at home all day and pen novels. I wish I could have realised this a long time ago. Back when things were simpler and I had more time. Time to think and time to dream. More space in my head in which to spin my fantasies. I wish I could have realised before what wonder there is in the act of writing, truly realised it.

I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember, but I don’t think I ever truly appreciated the craft of writing. The subtle nuances of the grammar and the flow of the paragraphs on a page. The way that the words can conjure thoughts and feelings, the way they can make you escape into something else. It’s beautiful and powerful.

At least now I know that I have a direction. Writing is my strength and my purpose. It’s my craft and my passion. I can, at last, let it take centre stage. Not performing. Not art. Writing.

I am a writer.

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