I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.
I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.
My guest today isToni Pike who writes for both children and adults and I can recommend both genres. Today Toni shares a number of areas that she feels have impacted her life and would have benefited from her experience gained over the years.
I wish I knew then what I know now! by Toni Pike
Thank you so much, Sally, for the wonderful invitation to write about things I wish I had known long ago. I always try to look forwards rather than dwelling on past regrets. But over the last few years I’ve made quite a few major changes in my life and feel like I’ve learned so much. There are quite a few things I deeply regret not knowing earlier in my life, and some other things it would have been nice to know.
So, I hope you’ll excuse me if I ramble on and share a whole series of things that I wish I’d known long ago. If only someone had told me!
My peaceful, happy life was disrupted late last year when I fell over and broke my elbow. I’ve made a good recovery but still dealing with the consequences of that, and now having treatment for low bone density. If only I could have my time again, I would try to do everything I could to prevent my current issues.
Too late in life, I realised the importance of exercise and the value of making sure I had all the nutrients my body needs for healthy bones.
Tolerating bad behaviour
For so many years, I tolerated mean behaviour and manipulation from a certain person in my life. It was as if I couldn’t recognise their manipulative and blame-shifting behaviour, and would feel upset but didn’t know what to do about it. I actually believed that person’s words when they criticised me. But in the last few years I’ve learnt so much and now realise that I should have had firm barriers, not tolerating being badly treated and instead valuing my own opinions and feelings.
That part of my life is over now. I know the sort of person I am, and if someone is rude, critical or disrespectful, I’m able to say that I won’t tolerate being spoken to like that and will only talk when that person behaves properly. I also will not have relationships with people who are not interested in treating me with kindness and respect.
Now, if someone criticises me, I consider my own opinions and whether I agree with them. I’m able to tell them that while I appreciate that is their opinion, I have a very different viewpoint. That is so different to the sort of reactions I’ve had for most of my life!
I’m also able to recognise manipulation, in a way that I never could before, and I won’t be swayed or affected by it. If only I’d been able to do that a long time ago, my life would have been very different.
Learning to love myself
The way I treat myself now is a world away from the way I have for most of my life. Previously, my self-talk was horrendous: filled with self-criticism to the effect of how silly or stupid I was, or how dreadful I looked. Now that has changed, and I treat myself with kindness, love and support. My self-talk is full of encouragement and I’m always telling myself that I can cope. I know I’m deserving of the good things in life if I can afford them, and don’t suffer from any guilt about that. I no longer feel that I should be doing things for others, yet not for myself.
I find that a much better way to live, and wonder what might have happened if I’d known it all my life.
Now for some words of wisdom I’ve garnered from my writing career. I feel like I’m a world away from the person who had just published their first book in 2015. I’d like to share the top tips I’ve learnt since then. They’ve been said many times before by other people, but it never hurts to hear them again.
1. Writing might make some people rich and famous, but I’m not one of them. However, I’ve found much richer rewards meeting so many other writers and supporters who have been the most amazing and wonderful friends.
2. You always need an editor and some beta readers.
3. Try to use a professional cover – it really makes a difference.
4. You will have to market your book and that will mean an ongoing commitment of time and energy from you so long as your book is on the market.
5. You need to have your own website and social media presence to interact with others, but try not to let that take over your life.
6. Your first book is just the beginning, and your writing will almost certainly improve with every book that you write.
7. It’s a lot like the mafia – once you start, you can’t stop and you can’t get out of it, so be prepared.
I know there would have been no point in me knowing all those things when I first started out. I would not have believed them, and it wouldn’t have stopped me.
©Toni Pike 2022
My thanks to Toni for sharing these wonderful examples that most of us can relate to and agree with… I know she would love to hear from you.
Meet Toni Pike
Toni Pike is a multi-genre author who enjoys writing exciting thrillers for adults, non-fiction, and hilarious books for children. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.
Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS.
The Brody Cody Series is for children aged 6-9: BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE and BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE.
She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.
A selection of books by Toni Pike for children and adults
An early review for Linda’s Midlife Crisis
‘Fifty, frumpy, and a few extra kilos’.
‘Ron doing something so expensive and nice for her was so out of character.’
So there, on the very first page of Toni Pike’s medium-length new novel, we discover some of the reasons for Linda Lockwood’s midlife crisis. Linda’s husband, Ron (‘He was the sort of person who brought joy whenever he departed’), doesn’t seem too enamoured with her, and it soon emerges that he is a constant criticiser and belittler of Linda.
As the story develops, we discover more reasons why Linda is undergoing a mid-life crisis, and the book expertly develops our understanding of her situation – some readers might even find it evocative of their own experiences.
Tony Pike’s sensitive development of character and plot make us wonder throughout, ‘What will Linda do next?’ A highly engaging read so that you can find out. This reviewer had the advantage of an advance reader copy.
Thank you for dropping in today and I know that Toni would love to hear from you. If you could also share the post that would be amazing .. thanks Sally.