A Letter To My Unpublished Self by Shari Low

Headshot-Shari-LowDear Unpublished Shari

So. Ever since you were a teenager reading Jackie Collins and Judith Krantz under the duvet using only the light of an electric blanket, you’ve wanted to be a writer. You’ve also wanted to live in LA, have a kidney shaped swimming pool, wear shoulder pads the size of sunloungers and have passionate affairs with blokes called Lance and Dirk.

But let’s focus on the writing career and be realistic. The chances are slim. Almost zero.

However, now you’re 32 and some kind of mini-mid life crisis has compelled you to pluck that dream from the past.

Not that it’s any surprise that you’ve never quite got around to it. Leaving home at 16, you somehow carved out a career in the crazy world of nightclubs, living in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Amsterdam and London. You managed to get engaged six times yet avoid the ‘I do’s’, before agreeing to marry your husband after knowing him for a week. Surprisingly, six years later, you still haven’t had to return the wedding gifts. Along the way, you made a group of girlfriends that will last a lifetime, who have been there as you balance a great but unfulfilling career, with years of trying desperately to have a baby.

Cue mid-life crisis.

Last night, your very perceptive husband pointed out that you only have a chance of becoming an author if you actually write something.

Good point.

Now you’re sitting there in front of a laptop wondering whether to give it a shot, because as we’ve already covered, the chances of getting a book deal are slim.

Almost zero.

But a voice in your head tells you to try. That voice is me – the one from the future.

Because I can see what happens.

And I come with good news and bad.

Let’s start with the good. Fourteen years later, you’ll have published a dozen novels after being lucky enough to get a book deal. There will be loads of highs and lows, great moments and crushing rejections, successes and a few failures, but you’ll never regret it because it will be a life you love – writing all day long while juggling two children. Oh yes, those babies finally, against all the odds, come along and they will be the best thing ever.

Those friends will still be around, giving you an endless stream of inspiration for storylines about relationships and the strength of female friendship.

The bad news? You don’t live in LA. You don’t have a kidney shaped swimming pool. And Lance and Dirk?

Well, they never do appear. And even if they did, you’d pass them over, because twenty years after you said yes to a bloke you barely knew, you still haven’t had to return the wedding gifts.

And the lesson you learned? Sometimes, in life, love and fiction, you just have to take a chance and go for it.

Even when the chances of making it are slim. Almost zero.


Shari xx

Visit Shari Low’s Website

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