CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Rowan Coleman: a life of moments

PUBLISHED: 13:23 26 June 2018

Happiness is the sum of the small things (photo: Getty Images)

Happiness is the sum of the small things (photo: Getty Images)


Learning to value the good, small moments, as well as the big ones, is the way to happiness, writes Rowan

This week has been an incredible one. I set off at the crack of dawn one day to make my way across London to the location where The Zoe Ball Book Club (8.30am Saturday and Sunday on ITV 1) was to film interviews with me about my novel The Summer of Impossible Things. And more excitingly, for me at least, to bring little excerpts of the book to life. From the second I got the news that my novel had been chosen for the programme I knew this was a special moment to be appreciated. I’ve been a published author for 17 years and during that time there have been a few career highs, and a few career lows too. I’ve learnt that it’s really rare to enjoy sustained high-level success and that means being careful of what you define as success. I joke that I’m glad I’ve had 17 years to get ready for overnight fame – but there is a serious point there too. Often I see authors whose first novels have been wildly successful who expect their careers will always be the same. Sometime it is, but more often than not it isn’t. The aftermath of success, when it feels like the world has moved on without you to the next big thing, can seem to be a very lonely and dark place. And I’m sure this is true in other walks of life.

So for me it’s key to recognise when something really special happens – like walking on to a TV set and into a room created from my imagination. Physically standing in something that previously only existed in my head and in the pages of a book was a magical experience. I savour that kind of experience and never take them for granted. I know that it might be a really long time before I experience something like that again.

In life I try to do the same thing, to really be ‘in the moment’ on a sunny day, when my kids are playing with each other happily, or when the woods are full of bluebells and my dogs are leaping over fallen trunks.

For the last few years I’ve lived with anxiety disorder, and part of learning to manage it has been to acknowledge all the things that were going right, no matter how small. In these moments I find a kind of calm and joy in simply being there, right then.

There’s always something beautiful to see, always a good book to read, or movie to watch. Coffee with a good friend, a slice of cake. When those big moments come, enjoy them to the full, but remember it’s the thousands of small good moments that go towards the making of a happy life.


Best-selling novelist and mum-of-four Rowan Coleman shares the chaos and comedy of her life in the county

Twitter @rowancoleman


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Graham Denison is a projectionist at the Ritz cinema in Thirsk, one of the oldest cinemas in the country, staffed by a team of volunteers

Read more
Yesterday, 14:33

With The Great British Bake Off back on our screens the nation is falling in love with baking once again. Head pastry chef at Pennyhill Park, Sarah Frankland, tells us about what it takes to make it as a professional

Read more

Whatever your age, whatever your ambition, whatever your ability, Total Ensemble creates inclusive theatre with extraordinary results both on stage and off it

Read more
October 2018
Yesterday, 12:36

The new novel by Sarah Perry is out this month. It’s frighteningly good, writes Rowan Mantell

Read more
October 2018
Yesterday, 12:25

Explorer, adventurer and UEA graduate Benedict Allen is set to reveal all about his controversial Papua New Guinea expedition when he appears in Norwich this month

Read more
October 2018
Yesterday, 10:10

He quit his job with a few thousand pounds in savings and an empty garage. In less than a year, Nick Grey’s technology company Gtech was flying. Tanya Gledhill meets him

Read more
Yesterday, 00:00

This month’s round-up by the Real Housewives of Cheshire star

Read more

It’s 3,000 miles of ocean, two hours on and two hours off for around 40 days - a St Albans geologist is taking up the challenge of rowing the Atlantic

Read more
October 2018

While some of us call nettles and dandelions weeds, others think of them as lunch. We meet Kent’s professional foraging tutors

Read more
October 2018
Tue, 13:45

Tessa Allingham sits down to dinner prepared by some of the county’s most talented chefs and their most promising protegés

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search