It never occurred to me that I could write.
There was the odd success at school, but nothing to suggest that I ought to forgo all other careers and take to life as a wordsmith. A couple of years ago, I started to write updates for my department at work. Encouraged by feedback, the update email blossomed into a blog. A few people suggested I blogged for a wider audience and I began the Finextra.com blog.
It was only a few months ago on a trip to Cornwall that I picked up a writing magazine purely on a whim. As luck would have it, that particular magazine was all about electronic publishing and I spent much of the holiday tapping away on my keyboard setting up my brand new wordpress blog.
WordPress.com is superb and thanks to the ease with which you can set up your blog and publicise it, I soon had a regular following. WordPress is heavily gamified and you find yourself glued to your stat’s page watching the page views creep up. I still remember my first “Like” and when I excitedly told my wife that my first comment had arrived, she looked at me as if I was mad.
Since then I have joined a local writing group made up of an eclectic set of individuals. Collective imagination is so much more powerful than anything an individual could conjure up and we have had some fun with some group writing. One such exercise has the first person starting a story with one sentence. The second person has three sentences to develop the story. The third person has to either finish the story or bring it to a cliffhanger with only two sentences. At the end of the exercise, we had twelve stories; two or three of them were brilliant, half a dozen were very good and only a handful were ropey. Not bad considering we only had ten minutes.
I have also submitted some short stories to a publisher, thinking what’s the worst that can happen? Ignoring success for a moment, in order; silence, then “Thanks, but no thanks”, after that “No thanks, but here’s some feedback”. I was chuffed when I was rejected with feedback – at least I could learn from the experience.
All in all, I have enjoyed writing immensely. I’ve been humbled by some of the people I have met in the process and cannot believe I have had hits from 58 countries.
Somehow I doubt it will replace the day job, but you never know…
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