Rosanna Rosling is a new Sussex author, and we caught up with her to find out more about her brand new book, Spinning the Plates:
‘Do you ever feel that every day is just (badly) riding a unicycle, balancing a million spinning plates in the air? Just long, thin, wooden sticks that feel like they’ll snap at any moment, buckling under the pressures of this ridiculous thing we call ‘life’.’
These are the opening lines to my brand-new book, Spinning the Plates. At twenty-nine-years-old, I have heard many a time I am ‘too young’ to write a memoir; ‘I haven’t lived enough’. But it isn’t always age that tells a person’s story; it is experience and anyone of any age can have a story they need to tell. And why wait until you’re looking back on your younger years in a creaky, old armchair when you could be telling your story right now, helping others who might be going through the same thing along the way? And that’s what inspired me to write my book; to tell my story and the lessons I’ve learned to help people through whatever mess life has decided to throw at them this time.
If you wrote down my life on a piece of paper, it wouldn’t seem anything exciting or extraordinary compared to anyone else. A girl born in the Midlands, grew up in Wales and after much moving about the country and trying to find a purpose, I eventually settled down in East Sussex. I have always remembered writing; my first creative story that won the class certificate in Year 2 after writing about a baboon, an elephant, and a lion trying to work together to find the nearest water hole. Fiction had always been my focus, my interests changing over the years as I grew up and experienced more of what life had to offer.
But I never thought it would be my story that would be the most interesting to tell. I have had experiences that most people would probably say they could relate to; the awkward school years, bullying, messy breakups, soul-destroying, poorly-paid jobs, some form of offensive comment that’s really wound you up the wrong way. What’s new? Probably nothing. But that is what I discovered what people wanted to read. People want to feel they’re not alone; they’re not the only person going through this really awful situation they can’t seem to see an end to. It’s not that you want people to be miserable, but there is nothing more empowering than that overwhelming relief that it’s not just you who finds things really tough. And that’s what inspired me to write Spinning the Plates; the dream to write that book that women wake their partners up for in the middle of the night screaming “see, it’s not just me!” All of our lives are unique but finding the similarities, both the triumphs and the challenges, is what connects us and helps us find a shared sense of humanity.
Life can be overwhelming. A lot of us don’t want to admit it (because admitting it might mean accepting it), but life can be hard. And where we live in a world that constantly reminds us to ‘be happy’ and ‘see the positives’, sometimes it’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel and all you want to do is hate on the world for just a moment and relish in the bitterness consuming your heart. Bleak? Yes. But if you’re like me, they are words that only ring devastatingly true. Does anyone else hate the sickeningly sweet and happy chirpy noises of the radio on a Monday morning when you’re late for work and need to de-ice the car, phone the doctors at exactly 8 am, and put fuel in the tank because you frankly couldn’t be bothered at 7 pm the night before?
And this is just the ‘small’ stuff. Running out of milk as you pour your morning coffee, the boiler’s broken so there’s no hot water, the cat’s brought in a decapitated mouse which the dog is now happily crunching on in the corner because you didn’t get there in time. We haven’t even mentioned the BIG stuff yet; climate change, political crises, global pandemics, economic meltdown, looming World War III … when you start reeling it all off as a list, you can feel the stress and anxiety just building in your chest as your mind swirls with the endless amount of pressure crushing us to the ground.
The other half.
Sometimes, it really feels like it never ends.
And amongst the chaos and all the things we are expected to do every single day of our lives, we are supposed to be happy. It’s almost impossible to feel remotely happy when the majority of our time and energy is consumed by things we should be focussing on, not what we want to focus on. And if you want to give up the soul-destroying 9-5 for something that excites you, is creative, but doesn’t quite give that financial guarantee each month?
Stop dreaming and get with reality. Get yourself a proper job. This is what a lot of us are told from a young age. Not necessarily because people want to kill your dreams, but for some of us the security of the 9-5 is the only way to guarantee financial survival each month.
The pressures never end.
So, Spinning the Plates is my story; my journey to finding happiness in a far-from-perfect world. I’d like to think I’ve worked hard for the life I’ve built, and I wouldn’t dream of a world without it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t find it hard from time to time. Even the things I have been desperate for since I left home; I have to really remind myself how much I love the dog when he’s smeared his muddy paws and tail across the patio doors that I’ve just spent half an hour cleaning.
I love him, I really do.
But I also really love a clean home.
So if, like me, you’re searching for your corner of happiness in what feels like a doomed planet, this book might just be the next read for you. Maybe you just want to have a good laugh at someone else’s misfortune; maybe you just need a good cry and moan about how unfair life can be. Whatever it is you’re looking for, Spinning the Plates will offer a story that a lot of us can relate to and that reassuring feeling of ‘it’s not just me’.
Book your FREE ticket to Spinning the Plate’s Book Launch at Greenfinch in Ticehurst. Saturday 27th May 2023 at 3 pm; join us for an author talk, Q+A and a glass of fizz!
Paperback Pre-Order available via Auctorem Books:
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