This week has been a really hard one. I lost a dear friend to cancer, someone who I had known for over half my life. The funniest, kindest, most generous soul, I’m missing Elaine terribly. If I could have a moment of your time, I’d like to tell blog readers a quick story.
Last year Elaine was asking me about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life after I’d lost my job. I’d always wanted to write for a living but hadn’t got anywhere. Elaine asked me what I thought I needed to do and I knew the answer was simply “write and write and write”, but I always followed this with excuses and doubts. I basically had no faith in myself.
She had heard this all before from me and so her advice was simple and blunt. She looked me straight in the eye and simply said, “Just do it”. So that’s what I started to do. Then at the end of last year I got my first paid writing job for Comic Scene’s History of Comics. This year I’ve relaunched the old blog as a full blown website. I’ve been asked to join an exciting new creative project here in Belfast. I’m writing and writing and writing. I’m “Just doing it”.
It was the shortest, most blunt, yet best piece of advice I’ve ever received. Thank you Elaine. ❤️
When I feel the procrastinator in me surfacing, or when I feel like being lazy, or when I’m struggling with writer’s block, I know I’m going to hear her voice saying those words. I know they’re going to make all the difference, because in her memory I’m going to make sure they make all the difference.
This weekend is Elaine’s funeral and in lieu of flowers the family have asked people to donate to Macmillan Cancer Support, who provided support and who Elaine arranged fantastic Coffee Mornings for.
My best friend, and Elaine’s daughter, Vicki has set up a donation page in her name which you can find right here. I know readers of this blog won’t have known my friend, but I can’t stress enough how important Macmillan’s work is, from providing support to cancer patients, to end of life care and running hospices.
It’s something that has touched the lives of so many of us, so if you can spare even a little, no matter how small the amount, please do. Macmillan are doing wonderful work in helping cancer patients and their families and we never know when we may need their support.
Thank you all for reading.