My life until now, has been an interesting one, though I would not say controversial. it has added up to the essence of who I am – well, I think so. Everything I do today comes from two things, opportunity and a helluva lot of serendipity, and anyone who says otherwise is for all intents and purposes uninformed. Take for instance my guiding work at the National Museum of Computing. Looking back, I just happened to be the right person, in the right place, at the right time. If any of those factors either did not happen, or happened out of sync, then I might still be working in the IT industry.
Much to my delight, I made my escape from the IT industry prison in 2006, and decided that creativity would be my ticket to a happier future. It would also feed that nagging hole in my life that I’d largely chosen to ignore. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had one belief above all others, namely that if you’re happy with what you do, then you’re going to be happy with who you are. Most of the time this is offset by the terrible pay and work hours that suck, but at least I’m a happier as a result and more stable to boot. On that note it could be said that your happiness is always going to be inversely proportional to your working conditions.
This may go someway to explaining my little flirtation with Photography. After leaving Xerox, I had a desire to get back into something artistic and digital. In my case, both adjectives acted as enablers allowing me to concentrate on things that gave me a sense of fulfilment. However, there was just one thing that stood in the way of my ultimate spiritual revival. In order to fund this new lifestyle I needed to get some financial independence. To that end I became involved in a variety of professions such as freelance photography, writing and part-time guiding at TNMOC. The icing on the cake so to speak, was watching my son grow up and finding “Miss Right for me now and always.”
My passion for writing stories started back in the early 90’s and telling a good story was never a problem. Writing it down however, well let’s just say my skills as a writer then, left a lot to be desired. For years I’d used poetry and short stories, as a way of helping me understand and cope with the world I live in. In retrospect it’s easy to understand why I didn’t take it seriously, with responses from various people, ranging from lukewarm comments to something akin to a fridge magnet platitude. The big change came in 2005 when I gave my mum early copy of a manuscript I’d been toying with. Her encouragement and ongoing help set me on a path I’m still walking. Funny how something so simple can make all the difference. Looking back, everything seems to have happened for a reason, although at the time, it felt more like chaos than plain sailing.
Personally, writing has always felt like it’s being performed by remote control. It’s as if some outside influence had taken over my mind every time I got in front of a word processor. The weird part was that it always felt part of me, as though my future self was dictating it to me, which is a paradox in and of itself. Mental aberration or not, early on it did little to help my self-confidence, and it is this that was largely responsible for me being unable to stand up and honestly say I wrote it.
I am not sure what brought about the change, the need for a nom de plume or just accepting that I wrote what was being typed, but after some soul searching I finally settled on a name that I was happy with. I could tell you how it happened, but then again, where would the mystery be.
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Dee Roberts 2020