Once upon a time there was a little girl with slightly curly, slightly wild, red hair and an occasional wild temper.
She lived in a house with her mum, dad, older sister and a feisty black cat called Tingha.
Tingha was a factory cat brought home with a blue ribbon tied around his neck.
The little girl loved him very much.
Even when he stretched out his claws and used her legs as pin cushions.
The cat was her first love.
Her other love, from an early age, was stories.
Fairy stories, Famous Five Stories, I Spy Stories, True Stories, Adventures with the Folk of the Faraway Tree.
All had a special place in her heart.
They made her smile. They made her laugh. Sometimes they made her cry.
Like all the best stories do.
As the girl grew up, her love for stories grew too.
She loved nothing more than reading and writing them.
By the time of her 10th birthday she knew exactly what she wanted to do.
She wanted to be a reporter. A journalist was in her future, even if she didn’t quite know it yet.
The girl wanted to write about people, about animals, about everything.
And she did.
At 18 all those letters paid off.
The editor on her local newspaper wrote back, offering her a job.
She said ‘yes’ straight away. Her dream had come true.
She was sent to college to study to be the very best journalist she could be.
Her reward was a special certificate. An NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) badge of honour.
The girl loved talking to people; she learned the right way to ask questions and, most importantly, how to truly listen to answers so she could tell a story well.
As all good journalists know, it’s the only way to speak a story strong and true.
As the years flew by she moved from reporter, to chief reporter, news editor, sub editor (the people who design pages and write the headlines), arts editor and editor.
As times changed and the internet was born, she found a new way to share these stories.
She set up a special online magazine for Twitter – the first of its kind – with Harry Potter-style effects, like video and audio, in its electronic pages. It brought out the big kid in her and she loved it.
The digital magazine attracted thousands of fans from all corners of the globe, featured celebrity interviews and reached the final of a national social media awards competition, narrowly missing out to Sky Magazine.
Life was good.
The red-haired girl was happy, but she wanted more.
So, with the new PR and social media agency she launched, she helped national and international clients gain publicity in publications, on and offline.
And still she wrote. She wrote for others. She wrote for herself.
But then she got poorly. Very poorly. So poorly in fact that for a while she wondered whether she’d ever be able to walk again.
She felt sad and scared in equal measure.
But help was at hand.
Her Princess Charming was there to wrap her arms around her. Her words and love a soothing balm. Their love grew ever stronger.
The girl’s heart leapt in gratitude.
She began to get better.
She started reading again. She started writing. It became the medicine she needed to feed her soul and body.
Her legs grew strong and she stood tall once more.
Stories still held that magic.
She realised they’d never truly left her.
They’re with her still.
Today, after changing her business, she is stronger than ever.
A passion for stories coursing through her veins, more powerfully than ever before.
In her role as content coach, her passion for stories is legendary.
She’s still living her dream. The dream of that little red-haired girl is alive and burning brightly in the stories she helps others tell so well.
That magic exists in you too.
All it takes is a sprinkle of self-belief and a willingness to open your eyes and your heart to the power of story.