I know it feels like months since The Sisters’ Song was officially launched by Natasha Lester, but I’ve been rather busy and haven’t had a chance to put the photos together and make a video. However, my diary was actually clear today, so it’s done. And for those who weren’t there on the night, here’s a transcript of my speech:
This book began because I wanted to tell a story. I still don’t know why, after 16 years as a doctor, I suddenly felt the need to write a story.
Looking back, perhaps it wasn’t as sudden as I thought. Looking back, I can see it was something that had been growing within me for decades, possibly ever since I was born. But it was so quiet, it was almost silent. A quiet voice inside my head, whispering something, but I couldn’t quite hear what.
It was easy to tune it out, especially because the noise of the everyday was so loud—of work, of patients, of children and family, of commitments and duty, even of cooking and cleaning. The noise of what I thought I should be doing.
But the voice didn’t go away. It was very patient, and still ever so quiet. I tried to ignore it, and fulfil my responsibilities. To be a good mum, be there for my family, get up and go to work and contribute to the family income. I didn’t want to let anyone down, especially my family and my patients.
Still the voice persisted, slightly louder now, trying to tell me something. It did it through tears and a feeling of general emptiness, a gap inside me that needed filling. That’s how these voices speak, I think. They don’t use words or state things clearly, but it was saying, You’re not happy, Louise.
At the age of 43, I gave in to that voice, and it really felt as if I was ‘giving in’. As if I was being ‘weak’ and irresponsible because I was quitting work, bailing out of my responsibilities, and I was doing what I wanted to do instead. I felt guilty for that, and I felt guilty for leaving my husband to support our family of six.
But I’m glad I listened to that voice, and did what I felt I needed to do. I’d been a doctor, a long-held dream of mine. I’d been a wife and then together with my husband, I’d created four beautiful children. Another dream.
And now, I’ve created something for myself. Something to leave behind when I die, something that is fully, wholly, and deeply me, on every single page.
Taking that first step to writing was a leap into the unknown. It was a risk and a gamble. I had no idea if I could write a story, let alone if it would be published. But I had to try.
And here I am, with a book.
And here’s the slideshow of the book launch.
Oh thank goodness you listened to that tiny, insistent voice.
Thank you for posting your speech. I loved reading it and sharing in your launch in a small way, though I couldn’t be there on the day.
Congratulations again Louise xx
I’m glad you wanted to share in the moment a little, Fi! Thank you! 🙂
Beautiful speech, Louise. So glad you followed your heart and created this for all of us, and for yourself. Congratulations!
Thank you, Warren. I’m pretty damn glad I started listening to that voice telling me to follow my heart, too! 🙂
Ah those voices are so wise. Am loving this journey you are on Louise x
Thank you, Renee! I’m quite enjoying the journey myself! 🙂
Your book launch was such a special, enjoyable night, Louise. The room was full of warmth and support for you, and your beautiful book.
I’m so glad you followed your dream. You’ve been an inspiration to me – giving me the confidence to follow my own writing dream. Thank you from the bottom of my heart 😊
I felt all that warmth and support, too, Marie! Thank you so much for being part of it.
It’s nice to hear that I’ve inspired someone—you’re a beautiful writer and worth inspiring! I’m sure a book with Marie Mclean’s name on the spine will be on the shelves one day. 🙂