Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller recently spoke with single mum Vivienne Smith, author of The Single Mums’ Survival Guide, about her journey into single parenthood and how she grew from that experience.
“They do say that everyone has a book in them – for me, this was certainly true although it has taken thirteen years before I was ready to share it with the world!
The event that triggered my inner author was when (as a mother of a three year old and a tiny three week old baby) I discovered to my shock that I was about to become a single mum.
To say nothing had prepared me for the news is an understatement. Very little made any sense to me in those early days of survival and adjustment, save for a determination that I was going to survive and turn my life around, come what may.
I also found that writing was one of the only ways I could express the turmoil of emotions that now consumed me.
A strong certainty had also begun to emerge in me – that when I got through this, I was going to somehow find a way to help other women in the same boat.
So I started writing – a novel at first, inspired by my experiences of single motherhood, divorce and internet dating. But then real life took over and I reluctantly shelved the project in favour of being a busy working mum. Then one day inspiration struck and I felt compelled to rescue my pages from the shelf and give my manuscript a whole new slant.
I realised that what single mums needed most (and what I had been craving at the time of my separation) was a combination of practical advice, expert guidance, inspiration, encouragement and support.
As a friend of mine said: reading this book is a little like having a wonderful group of women sitting round the kitchen table, sharing their tragedies and triumphs – dishing out advice, humour and hugs in equal measure.
Interview by Suzy Miller of The Alternative Divorce Guide