Princess Diana was often described as an English Rose. She was described in this way because, after finding her feet, her beauty, poise and grace shone through her once shy exterior. Because of this, along with her acts of kindness, she was admired all over the world.
When singing at Princess Diana’s funeral, Elton John changed the words of Candle In The Wind to include the lyrics Goodbye England’s Rose. This was a heartfelt compliment from one of her friends, but felt on that day throughout the country and beyond.
In England, some felt that they knew Princess Diana despite never meeting her. The outpouring of grief at that time was immense. People who had never met before supported each other through her public funeral and some even stayed in touch afterwards.
Even though not everyone liked Princess Diana, they couldn’t fail to see how she blossomed over the years.
She married Prince Charles in 1981 at the age of 20, a shy and awkward looking young lady. But, with support, and a team around her, she gradually grew in both confidence and stature. A shy 19 year old when they started dating just a few months earlier. One who walked looking down at the ground with the occasional upward glance.
It was not that she wasn’t used to Prince Charles as their paths had crossed several times over the years. But she hadn’t lived fully in his world before. It was probably a real shock to her system.
Princess Diana had a fighting spirit. She was not going to let the huge change in her life beat her in any way. She was one determined woman and seemingly a force to be reckoned with. Despite her demure exterior she was slowly growing stronger. Gradually asserting her opinion and finding her way in a sometimes difficult world.
She didn’t wake up, think about what troubles lay ahead, and then hide back under the bed covers when things got tough. Instead, she put her game face on and got on with it. She showed the British stiff upper lip. Determined to conquer her fears and deal with any problems head on. She blossomed into a beautiful rose. One who stood tall and proud.
Whether you are a budding writer, just getting established, or have a huge amount of experience, we all have to start somewhere. There are often numerous problems along our path. We can have time constraints, family and societal pressures, lack of confidence, and so much more to deal with.
But, Princess Diana taught us how to keep going. She showed us that we have to get up and face it head on.
As writers we can excuse ourselves from going to the page to write far too easily. We tell ourselves that we will do it later, or that we just aren’t in the mood to write. Imagine if Princess Diana had told herself that. If she had excused herself from her duties several days or even weeks at a time.
What would the impact of that been? A lot of people would have been let down. But she would also have let herself down, and in a way that is even worse. To allow ourselves to let the one person down that we should be supporting and trying our best for, is a tragedy. In a way, by doing that, we are plotting our own downfall before we have even started. We are setting ourselves up to fail, and that is surely not our intention.
So we need to get some of Princess Diana’s spirit. To fight for ourselves like she did. To get up and go to the page when we feel like it the least. To try, sometimes fail, and then try again. To never stop trying to reach our writing dreams. To keep going no matter what.