I write.

Of course, that’s not all I do. I cook and keep house and look after my husband, and I socialise and go shopping and deal with the Town Hall and the utility companies. But it is by my writing that I release my creative urges, and by which I like to be identified. If I could not write I would draw, or play music, both of which I have enjoyed in the past, but writing has proved to be the path by which my inner self finds greatest release.

Writing is not for everyone – the gestation period is often longer than childbirth, the skills to be learnt are as challenging as astronomy or economics, and the rewards as elusive as the Golden Fleece. Besides, there are other talents, and we each have our gifts. I admire people who devote themselves to caring professions – I couldn’t do it; I derive pleasure from talented entertainers; I love to ponder good art. Everyone should find their gift and use it, because, if there is any meaning to life, that is what you are here to do.

So, I write. I try to find quiet time each day to concentrate – if I am to do it, I must do it well – and I neglect my housework. Then, when a book is finished, I set it free; I publish it, and wait to see how the world reacts. It reacts with indifference.

Publishing is like watching as a child leaves home. As a parent, I have done all I can; I am not sure it’s the right time, I want to wait a little while, to protect it, help it, but I cannot keep it to my bosom any longer, it must make its own way. Afterwards, the house feels empty, and before long I get broody – I need to have another baby – and so it begins again.