To celebrate the release of Take A Look At Me Now - and Nell’s story of making changes in your life when life lets you down – I asked my lovely Twitter and Facebook followers to share with me how much their life has changed. The stories that they told me are amazing: funny, witty, touching, courageous and downright brave. Read these and feel good about life!
For me, six years ago I was being escorted out of my former workplace with twenty-six colleagues, after we had just lost our jobs. It was almost Christmas, I had no way of paying my rent and was panicking about my future. Today, I’m a five-times Sunday Times Bestseller, have sold over 500,000 books worldwide and am finally doing my dream job of writing full-time. Life has a funny way of turning out…
@shoefiend1984 4 years ago I’d just been dumped by my fiancé via text and forced to leave my job & move back home, now I’m sitting in Sicily with a successful career, my own flat, my own car and happy with my life!
(Catriona runs a wonderful book blog, Fabulous Book Fiend!)
@_shelovestoread 5 years ago I would do anything to please other people. Now, I live my life for me and do things that make me happy.
(Laura runs lovely book blog, She Loves To Read!)
@nealdoran Basically it’s been downhill since 2nd place in a Pontins Little Prince comp 35 years ago. Take a look at me now…
(Neal is now a brilliant author – check out his book!)
Loretta Livingstone 15 years ago I was almost housebound, and had to rest in bed morning and afternoon. I am still almost housebound, but no longer confined to bed in the afternoons. And I have written 4 books. No way would I have been well enough to do that, even 5 years ago. Life looks good!
(Check out Loretta’s books!)
@minionsofbooks 5 years ago I was unhappy, quiet & hugely overweight. Now I smile a lot more! Live life, love life Xx
(Kirsty now runs brilliant book blog, The Love Of A Good Book!)
@clareren 10 years ago I became the voice of my 2 year-old son to get him the support he needed. I’m still talking and won’t stop till he needs me to!
@alexalovesbooks I’m married! I’ve also got a stronger sense of what I’d like for my own future, and am building towards it. Take a look at me now!
@lizzie256 5 years ago I was 21 and looking forward to spending the first Christmas with my boyfriend. Today I am married to that boyfriend and we have two beautiful children!
@K8JohnsonAuthor 15 years ago I was a nerdy teenager who wanted to write books. Now I’m a nerdy grownup who does write books! Plus ca change…
(Kate is a brilliant author – check out her books!)
@welshhedgehog 15 years ago I had only just met my husband (to be). Now married 14 years and 3 children later.
@Feetpaintwords 20years ago I worked in accounts. Now I’m a qualified reflexologist, a water-colourist and a writer! Take a look at me now!
@Feetpaintwords Missy would like to say that, eight years ago, she was in Battersea Dogs & Cats Home waiting for a home. But Take A Look At Me Now!
(Could you make a dog or cat’s life better? Visit Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to find out!)
@onemorepage 5 years ago I wasn’t a blogger! Take A Look At Me Now! :-)
(Visit Amanda’s brilliant book blog, One More Page!)
@InessaS This year I decided to do something that I love and I stopped to do in 1994: WRITING stories!
@karamina 5 years ago I was wondering if I’d ever be brave enough to write the novel I’d been carrying in my head.
(Note: Rachael Lucas is now a bestselling author!)
@Lynsey1991 5 years ago I was sat in a college class, no idea what I wanted to do. Now I’m working on what will hopefully be my first book xx
@RS78 20 years ago I was bullied for being a lesbian. Now I’m married to an amazing woman and we’re expecting twins in Feb!!!
@ChickLitChloe 10 years ago I was 17, getting ready for A-Levels and applying to Uni. Now I’m living somewhere else, got a 7 year old+ I’m a TA!
(Chloe also runs a fab book blog – check out Chloe’s Chick Lit Reviews!)
@sam_smith73 5 years ago I was flying as cabin crew, and single today I’m married, a qualified teacher and loving it!
@MrsKRufus31 5 years ago I was in my final year at uni, now I’m married, have 2 children and I’m a qualified nurse
@Rachel_Fusion now I do a job I love, own my own wellbeing centre am living with the man of my dreams + am writing a novel (although not to be too Pollyanna I do still struggle with CFS but just don’t let it get me down anymore!!)
@MeganInTheSun 5 years ago I had a job I didn’t get on with & no direction in life. Now I’m married, we have exciting plans together & I’m really looking forward to the future xxx
(Check out Megan’s lovely book blog, Reading In The Sunshine!)
Jackie Gallacher 10 years ago I was looking for work within the theatre industry and nowadays it’s the sport industry – so many exciting opportunities xx
Rosemarie Sayer At 39 I’m now lucky enough to be fully congruent & self aware, comfortable in my own skin, yet more cynical!
Trish Tishylou Hills 15 years ago I was still living in Canada, working in a corner shop 20 hours week and had not yet discovered chick lit. 10 years ago I had only just met my partner and still lived at home with my Mum. 5 years ago, I was in a dark place that got even darker for a while but I pulled through it and am happy now. I run my own business and get to review the books I love!
(Check out Trish’s book blog, Tishylou’s World!)
Tara Hooper 15 years ago I left a really toxic marriage and moved back in with my patents. 10 years ago I went snowboarding for the first time discovered a passion. And 6 years ago I was about to marry my wonderful hubby on my 37th birthday!
Claire Fain 5 years ago I was about to start my new career with my current employer as an accountant, 10 years ago I was self employed with my own shop and internet site -craft shop, and 15 years ago I was 5 months pregnant, planning my maternity leave from my first career- bank clerk, and trying to start my own business, not knowing I was going to be giving birth to my beautiful daughter 3 months early(she will be 15 next month). Xx
Sophia Valentine I had attended college for 5 years studying Law, got my Diploma, worked in a Solicitors for 5 years, got a promotion, thinking it was all i ever wanted. Quit last year to work abroad, met someone and been in Ibiza ever since, learning Spanish and working toward getting published. I didn’t have a fro, but I had a dreadful perm at aged 16, which was apparently ‘in’ at the time! Lol!!
Sarah Mellor 15 years ago – 13 years old and 13 1/2 stones (Size 18/20 in clothes). Bullied to the point of needing counselling. Today – 28 years old and 10 1/2 stone (did get down to 9 stone at one point but was too skinny then!) Size 12/14 clothes wearer. Teacher so I can help other young people who may feel like they have no-one and nothing! The years really do make the difference – I may not have the promotion or relationship status I’d like, but I do have a job and family who I love dearly (especially my two Godchildren!) Sarah x
Abbey Ribena Liddle 5 years ago I had just completed my NVQ level 2 in hairdressing and was loving life and as you can imagine being a hairdresser you have all wacky hair colours..I was 16 and brunette hair but bright pink underneath..crazy but it’s what hairdressers do! 10 years ago I was 13 and was becoming a typical teenager who thought was hard done by as always the one having to go in early while everyone was still out.. I thank my mum and dad every day now that they were strict as it could have turned out worse xx
Gail Ellen Parnell 15 years ago, I was working as an assistant to two managers in Dudley and getting to grips with writing, ten years ago I was zipping round town in my little car after almost giving up learning to drive – it took me give attempts and five years ago, I was working as a CCTV operator which proved to be one of the most eye opening experiences ever.
Julia Rich Was Wright 15 years ago I was in the early stages of a new relationship but had already worked out he was “the one”. 10 years ago I was dealing with redundancies at work (and can feel the tension in my shoulders again just thinking about it). 5 years ago I was adapting to becoming a mummy for the second time (best job in the world).
Louise Louby Skelding 10 years ago I was terrified of dogs, all dogs, and I didn’t like animals, now my whole world is an 11 month old Cockapoo and four little hamsters. Also Animal rights are a passion of mine! I’m a better person for this change.
If you’ve been inspired by these Take A Look At Me Now stories, why not add your own below? xx