The beginner writer

Published 08/04/2012 by Lily Crussell

I’ve just read an interesting article that I think all aspiring writers should read;

http://www.creative-choices.co.uk/industry-insight/article/the-struggle-to-get-published

The most important (and encouraging) thing that struck me about this article was the background of the author (published) kicked out of uni, 1 a-level, had a series of rubbish jobs….

It was a bit like reading my resume! Ok, I wasn’t kicked out of uni. I dropped out of two. That is quite impressive. I have two part degrees, so surely that should count for something??? I began by studying Anthropology at Surrey Roehampton, not realising that I was the only person on the course (this included the lecturers) who actually wanted to be there. They chucked me in maths classes (I suck at maths) and anatomy lessons. I was doing science again. I suck at science. I wanted to study Anthropology! (People and their behaviours/culture/evolution) after a term of being so miserable I was anorexic and crying myself to sleep every night, I dropped out. The uni didn’t care about the course, and I did, a little too much!

The second course was teaching. Primary kids. The thing I hadn’t realised about teaching now days is that there is very little teaching involved. I wanted to teach kids, not spend all my time writing lesson plans (important, but took more time than the lesson itself and no one ever looked at them! Plus the kids had a habit of changing the classes direction from their ability or inability to grasp the subject) reports, filing, printing, yadda yadda. I was in lectures about the law (important to a degree) and a thousand other things that skirted around teaching. They never taught us HOW TO TEACH! So after a year, I gave up. It was nothing like I had thought it would be, and to get to uni I had to get up at 5.30, take two buses and didn’t get home until gone 7pm. I didn’t have time to work to pay for my course/books etc, so it wasn’t viable.

So, to the lan of employment I go! I have worked in; childcare, a shoe shop, a toy shop, two clothes shops, a diy store, a linen shop and a department store. What I have learned from retail, is that only criminals and bad people deserve to work there. Minimum wage, maximum hours. The place I currently work in is open from 7am-9pm. We can do shifts of any of those hours, any days of the week. We don’t get regular rotas and are expected to come in on our days off for meetings. We get no training, are spoken to like we’re stupid (by customers and managers) are expected to be experts on products we have never used and aren’t trained on and they are constantly changing the goal posts. Don’t work in retail.

My point? Authors come from everywhere! You can suck at English, you can fail in school, but as long as you don’t give up and are constantly trying to improve yourself, it’s ok. You’ve all heard about J.K Rowling’s humble beginnings. She had no money and scribbled Harry Potter in every spare moment she had. I’ve just heard of a book trilogy selling for six figure sums that started its life as Twilight fanfiction! It got published solely from work of mouth.

The key to writing is conviction as far as I’m concerned. If you don’t believe in it, why would anyone else? If you wouldn’t want to read it, how can you expect others to? Being an author is not a closed circle, everyone had access, you just have to be flexible and incredibly tenacious.

Repeat this mantra every day; ‘I will be a published author’ because only you can make it happen.

Love and hugs x

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