WRITE BEGINS AT FORTY
It could be said that my writing adventure started late in life. At the age of forty, having moved to Ireland, I began to keep a journal of my new milestone in a new place. Said journal continued for years and I enjoyed writing it so much it inspired me to attempt my first short story. I was so pleased with myself and with the finished product I just kept on writing and never stopped. Major improvement was needed, and I was eager to nurture and grow my new found passion.
After saving for what seemed like a lifetime I enrolled on the creative writing course I had wanted to do for years. The assignments were challenging but enjoyable. Each time my tutor returned my work with great marks and positive feedback my confidence grew a little more. I sent short stories off to magazines- without success. I sent manuscripts to literary agents – without success. I entered writing competitions without success – until, one day I received a certificate and a cheque for ten pounds (WOW!) through the post: my prize for joint third place!
That certificate and cheque sit in a frame in pride of place above my desk. They serve as a reminder to never give up on my writing, even when I’m having one of my, ‘Why do I put myself through this?’ days. And I have many of those days but I get over them and I get on with what I need to do: write, type, edit, proof read, re-write, type, edit, proof read… with some tweeting, blogging and book promoting in between.
Not so long ago, I didn’t have a clue what a blog was, and I had even less idea how to go about writing one for myself. Anyone who reads my posts might think I still don’t have a clue! I hope not though because these days I make regular posts on my Goodreads author blog and my website. I’m no intellectual and I don’t have a wealth of experience or knowledge to share with my readers. I blog about things I do know, things I’m interested in and things I myself enjoy, and hope that my readers will too. At the same time I try to put plenty of variety into my posts which are all, even though it might not seem so, connected to my writing.
When I started out in my role as a self-published author I had no idea how much hard work was ahead of me. I had to learn how to create a website and how to use Twitter and Facebook. I knew nothing about marketing books or anything computer based that involved more complicated tasks than typing and sending emails. Basically, I was useless! So, what did I do about it? I sat down and got on with it, threw some tantrums, shed some tears and learnt some of what I needed to know. There was no other way.
In 2013 I had my first e book published. No Place like Home is collection of short stories and flash fiction. My novella, Planet Poultry Where Dreams Come True, came next followed my Angel of The Willows, my first full-length novel. Soup my second full-length novel came out last Christmas, and my second collection, A Little Bit of Me Short Stories and Other Scribbles is my latest book out of the five which are all available on Amazon, with a new one due out in the summer. I’m working on a new novella.
If I was to give any advice to an aspiring author of any age I would say, “Go for it!” It’s never too late. Don’t be put off by the fear of failure. If you don’t try you’ll never know what you’re capable of.
Maybe one day I’ll write that best seller – or maybe not. Either way I can still feel proud of how far I’ve come since that first journal entry in the summer of 2004, due to sheer hard work, persistence, determination and, not forgetting – enjoyment.