What to do when your life plan falls apart…

A 2020 goal for me to start being ‘proactive’ rather than ‘reactive’ with regards to my time, work, and having some kind of social life balance. And a measured step in completing that goal was buying the Clever Fox Pro Planner. It had been recommended to me by Youtubers, Bloggers, Writers and Editors – all for varying reasons and during various conversations – and with so much glowing praise around it, I snapped one up for less than £20 on Amazon. Yay me.

It’s beautiful, turquoise faux leather, A4 sized, with an inner pocket to keep important things in. I feel so grown up just for having it, and it fits perfectly in my handbag so that helps.

But the opening question already has me stumped.

What is the vision of the life you want?

I honestly have no idea.

When I was a kid, I had this grand idea of the person I was going to be. I was going to be a Vet, who lived in London, who had two horses and a dog. (Yeah, no one had the heart to remind tiny-me that I’d never be able to afford ANY of the above.) I really believed that I could do and be whatever I wanted, so long as I worked really hard.

So I did. Sort of. I worked really hard up until A-Levels. Then I didn’t, and then I did but for different subjects, and by this time I’d changed my mind about being a Vet anyway. I was going to be a writer.

I wrote every day, like you’re supposed to. I wrote for magazines, I wrote for bloggers, I wrote for myself. I gained a massive following, I made money – I could officially call myself a writer. Except – I wasn’t making enough money, and no one would give me a full-time job because I was ‘too young’. A genuine quote from an interviewer who dismissed me half an hour BEFORE my interview was supposed to start.

I wrote a book, and when I couldn’t find it an agent (after submitting to six agents) I self-published it. I sold 250 copies. I grew to hate it, and I took it down. I studied to become a teacher. I taught English for nearly four years. And with each day and each choice I was making, I was more financially stable – but further away from being a writer. And I was miserable.

I eventually went back to university and did my MA in Creative Writing. After another eight months of teaching, I quit and became a self-employed Creative Writer. I’m still working on getting an agent and traditionally publishing my book – whilst also in the process of self-publishing a book I’ve been told I’m NOT allowed to take down this time. But I’ve had to adapt and change and release so much to hold on to what I have. To make sure that the ‘life’ I have is the one I want. To the point where I can’t ‘close my eyes and imagine…’ what my life could be in a year or five years because I have NO IDEA. My plan isn’t really a plan at all. 

I’m going to keep submitting to agents, I’m going to keep writing, I’m going to keep building my business. But what else? Where do I want to live in five years? What will I be doing? Where will I be going? Who will I be going with?

And I’m way too much of a ‘Type A’ personality to be okay with not knowing this. So if you haven’t heard from me for a while – it’s because I’m doing my absolute best to keep up with the demand I’ve put on myself, with no real taped line of success. And if you don’t hear from me for a while, reach out. I’m probably pondering what the hell my future is supposed to look like.



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Hannah O'Donnell

This whole blog is about me; so enjoy the narcissism!

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