This time last year, everything in my life was topsy-turvy. I'd decided, after working on My Family, that I didn't want to write for TV any more - which was a bit unfortunate, as I didn't have much experience of anything else.
I made a very short list of possible new careers:
(a) nutritionist (I vowed to refuse to look in any toilets)
(b) interior designer (ditto)
I was vaguely interested in both, but not interested enough in either, so it was all very confusing. On the plus side, I'd just started an exciting new relationship, so felt very hopeful for the future, but my career seemed to be, erm, in the toilet.
I kicked off 2008 with an interview for a job as an ad agency copywriter. I didn't get it, and was gutted. At that stage, if anyone had told me I'd have been heading up a national ad campaign by the end of the year, I'd have laughed all over their clothes. I also lost my remaining TV commissions, and started looking more seriously into design and nutrition.
Then, in February, I bumped into a friend who I rarely saw, and he mentioned in passing that The Guardian were looking for someone to write lighthearted pieces for their Comment & Debate section. If I wrote a test piece, he told me, and he liked it, he'd send it in. I remember feeling very excited, and grilling him: how many words did it have to be? What did he think of this idea, and this one, and this one?
I'd longed to write for The Guardian since I was young, but while I'd started out in journalism, I'd slid down the TV route and never thought I could get back on track. I went straight home and started writing. Funnily enough, the first words of the (never printed) article were "I'm an atheist"...
Three days later, I sent my friend the piece, thinking he'd go "What the hell is this rubbish?!" But within an hour, he'd sent it to The Guardian, and they'd sent me an email asking for pitches. I was elated, and also very nervous. A day later, on Valentine's Day, I was given my first commission (and stayed up all night writing it, because I'm romantic like that); two days later, my first piece was printed in the paper.
Ten months and 28 columns later, I'm truly happy - much, much happier than I ever was working in TV. The exciting relationship I was in folded back in the summer, but it wasn't meant to be - much like my becoming a nutritionist or interior designer. It's odd to think how much has changed in a year - I thought this would be the year where I wrote nothing at all. I'm glad it wasn't.