Renee Conoulty: I Believe in Me - Guest Post by Nicki Clifford


Saturday, 22 October 2016

I Believe in Me - Guest Post by Nicki Clifford

Hey Everyone!

I'd love to welcome Nicky Clifford to the blog today, whose contemporary romance novel was released yesterday.

Writing has always been a passion for Nicky Clifford and as a student she penned poems, short stories and articles, many of which were successfully published. But a lack of confidence in her novel writing led her to follow a different career path and for many years she worked in the corporate world of HR & Training.

Now with her sons having reached their teens and with her husband’s encouragement, Nicky has decided to focus on her writing once again and, glued to her writer’s chair, has completed three novels. Her debut novel, Never Again, is the first to be published and hits the contemporary romance shelves this autumn. The book is set in her home county of Berkshire and also in the Swiss Alps where Nicky has many happy memories, having worked there in her student days.

As well as dedicating her time to writing, Nicky also works part-time for a local charity. She will make a donation from the book royalties to the charities, Auticulate and Childhood Tumour Trust. Having completed a writing course at Reading University, she is a member of her local writing group which she says, were staunch in their support and have helped enormously in encouraging Nicky to launch her first book.

Nicky was a keen ice-skater, managing to perfect backwards crossovers, mohawks and one foot turns, but has recently hung up her boots to spend more time relaxing with her friends and family at home in Berkshire.

Connect with Nicky via

Guest Post 

I Believe in Me

It has taken me until the age of 50 to believe in myself sufficiently to publish my debut novel. Why is that?

Self-belief is not about ‘outsides’
Today’s society can be too focused on the commercial and on how things appear from the outside: how much money someone earns, how they look, the car they drive, the job they do, etc. etc. Self-esteem, self-worth, self-belief, whatever you like to call it – this cannot be bought, cannot be worn like a badge and has no designer label attached to it. When you have self-esteem, it makes life easier; when you don’t, the path ahead can seem bewildering and scary.

Seeking approval in all the wrong places
To me, self-esteem is how I feel about myself. It took me a long time to realise that it is not about what I achieve or what other people think of me. For too many years, I looked for self-worth in all the wrong places. I craved approval from others and when I didn’t get the pat on the back I was hoping for, it further reinforced to me that I was not worthy. What an unpredictable way that was to live.

Compare / Despair
One sure-fire way to shove your self-belief into a blender is to compare yourself to others. When I did this, the chances were high that I would fall short as I generally compared myself to those I admired. So this would then leave me feeling useless, less than and more often than not resentful and envious. None of these emotions were conducive to peace of mind or self-worth.

The Journey to Self-Esteem
The journey to self-esteem has been a long one. In order to feel good about myself, I had to summon up rigorous honesty and self-searching. It was impossible to like and approve of myself when I didn’t have a clear idea of who exactly I was. So I began the bumpy journey of discovering “me”, warts and all.

Time Takes Time!
I had to learn to accept myself exactly as I was (yes, including those blasted warts!), to truly believe that no one is perfect and to know that it is okay to be different from other people. This process has taken me more years than I care to remember, in fact in a lot of ways, it is still ongoing…

Treat myself worthily
I had to learn to be kind to myself, to nurture myself, to praise myself; I had to shove my internal critical parent into the darkened broom cupboard in the recess of my mind to allow my unconditionally loving and affirming internal fairy Godmother to roam free.
With all these new self-esteem tools at my disposal, it gave me the freedom and space to turn thousands of written words into a published novel. When doubts jabbed at me and the ‘I can’t do this, I’m not good enoughs’ pointed their fingers at me, I would tell them, none-too-politely, to ‘sling their horrible hook’! Hence, at the age of 50, Never Again was born.

Never Again by Nicky Clifford
Mountains, Mystery, Romance: Can you run from your past? 

Harriet Anderson’s life is spiralling out of control. Unused to such mayhem, she ditches her high-powered job to take refuge in the Swiss Alps where she meets Philippe Smith, a crime writer with a dark and shadowy past. Thrown together by chance, is their fate intertwined? Will the karma and romance of the mountains and the quaintness of the Alps soothe their troubled souls? 

Or will their rocky paths create avalanches that cannot be avoided... 

Purchase link

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