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2018 - I Survived A Flooded Cave


My personal story reminds me of someone who loves cave trails. I would qualify even further and say that I love stable cave trails. I am of course using symbolic speech. I love going into the unknown and explore something I know nothing about. However, 2018 marked a cave trail like one where the boys who were caught in the cave in Thailand. There was no easy way out, but after a huge rescue operation, all of them survived, apart from one rescuer.


Excited to enter the cave

These boys were part of a soccer team, and I can see them in my mind’s eye as energetic and curious youngsters as they went on their trip.

A good challenge often energises me. From my fourth decade on earth, I had one condition to the challenges that I take on: the experience must be an enjoyable one. I keep the reservation that I can opt out if it is not enjoyable any more. I can name a few caves where I went in and came out with a good experience. It includes The Camino, Maccha Pichu, a variety of studies, studies, surfing the JSE, a decade as a private practising psychologist and more.


Going inside

These boys were curious about a cave where they were not supposed to enter. Somewhere I decided to write a book. To many, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing to do. However, there are many reasons why that this is not something I should do.

I suppose the boys entered, saw what was going on, but it is natural that boys would take on a challenge that tasted like forbidden fruit.

I too had the experiences that warned me that this is not a stable cave that I am entering this time. I realized that the thesis I did in 2001 was the last writing that I have done. But I didn’t regard it as too a big problem. I used it as an excuse to enrol to a writing course to teach me how to write.

With each assignment that I received from my tutor, I realised that my use of English is indeed not up to standard. Still not too big of a problem, I found myself an English teacher.

And then I started the writing of the book. Just like the soccer team, I was not alone and had many people supporting me. My husband and my friend did the first reading of the chapters. I found a lady who corrected my language, and I wrote 30,000 words. Family and friends were cheering me on.


Realising that I am trapped

It was after the 30,000 words, that sounded impressive to myself and those supporting me, that I realized that I am trapped. I knew what had to follow, but somehow no single word seemed to flow from my pen anymore.

It was as if I entered a long, challenging cave, but suddenly the way out was compiled of flooded caves, and I could not get out on my own.

Maybe it was fear that held me captive — the fear of knowing that I can either opt out and stop writing altogether. On the one hand, I feared the critical voice in my head that would never forgive me. On the other hand, I worried about all the caves that I would have to go through on my way out.

It was time to consult some rescuers. I could not get out on my own.


Rescuers – Kate and Sarah

Kate Emmerson and Sarah Bullen came along. From where I was sitting, almost too scared to write another word, they came to me in this cave and started guiding me on what lies ahead.

At first, they prepared me to write the last 30,000 words of my first draft. Then, low and behold, there would be the series of caves where I would pitch my draft until it was publishable.

After that would be the social media that needed to liven up, and this was the cave I feared most. I found another two rescuers, Greta and Theresa, and an unknown rescuer. Theresa took care of my website.

Greta would hold my hand as I started making my voice heard on social media. This cave had a few caves to cross. They were called Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+.

The unknown rescuer was difficult to define. It should be the proofreader. There were a few possibilities. And I confused it with editing, and so did some of the rescuers. This cave is still very muddy, but I am going forward.

Another deep cave where I had to put on my oxygen mask, was the cave where I had to find publishers. It was diving deep and coming up with hope.

Today I know I will have to cross the cave where I will have to press the send button to post my query letter, proposal and first three chapters to the publishers.

After this, the longest cave will still be ahead. The one where I will await answers from the publishers. But I am sure I will survive.

My Tools

My book is about the Creative Journey. Writing it, was a journey of discovery, healing and thriving. I needed all these tools to make this boot-camp to today. And my wish is that this book will be published and that people in need of tools to discover themselves, need to heal and to thrive in life, will find these tools as valuable as I did.

On the other side of the cave opening

On the other side of the cave opening are my friends and family waiting for me. Waiting to emerge with either a ‘Yes’ from a publisher or a self-published book. What carries me through all these caves is their love and support, and I will not disappoint them. I know they will care and spoil me as I exit from this long cave, and I keep pushing through, knowing my life is not only about me.


survive, cave, writing, book, creative-journey, create, publish

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