I tend to roll my eyes when people moan about the hassles of updating their websites. I won't any more. Most of this week was devoured traipsing through the website I set up with Robert the computer guy six odd years ago.
God, I was boring back then. All I had was a weekly column syndicated to half a dozen provincial newspapers in New Zealand. Most of the editors were invariably threatening to fire me - if not actually firing me. I always believed them when they said my writing had gone stale, or I was no longer relevant to their readers.
As a menopausal scribe, my confidence was at an all time low. Then just to cheer things up four years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer and given a mastectomy.
A big part of me believed life was pretty much over. The exciting part anyway. Frankly, I was okay about drifting into a gardening club, buying birthday cards six months in advance and maybe joining a choir.
Somehow between then and now life has morphed into a whirlwind of book launches, and invitations to travel to some of the world's sexiest places. Vienna next month? Of course. New York in March? Why not?
All of this at a stage when I imagined I'd be babysitting grandchildren and growing roses. It happened because one day about five years ago, I took a tube of imaginary superglue, stuck it to my backside and spent months and months in front of the computer trying to write a best seller.
To my absolute astonishment, the result of my solitary labours, Cleo, became just that. An international, New York Times, London Sunday Times best seller. And now its sequel Cats and Daughters (alias After Cleo Came Jonah) is set to do the same thing. And did I mention the movie?
These days I wake not just to the sound of our insane cat Jonah wailing in my ear, but to emails from the fascinating women who are my publishers in London, Milan, Taiwan - and the wonderful people who read and enjoy my books.
Honestly, parts of me are still purple from the number of times I've pinched myself.
As Robert and I have spent hours on the phone and in front of our respective screens reshaping my website, there've been times when we've drawn a simultaneous breath and said - "That was then." and pressed the delete button.
Life has changed, but basically I'm the same person. I still love my family more than anything. I still only half believe compliments.
If you're a middle aged woman or man, or even an aspiring writer who's been rejected so many times you've lost count, maybe my story has something in it for you.
Don't lose hope. Keep learning. Continue to strive. Don't take insults to heart too much. Specially the ones from idiots. And don't forget the superglue.
By the way, my lovely daughter Lydia has set up a new blog site to match the new website. I hope you like it.
PS the new website should be up and running next week.