It was Mark Twain who said “Write without pay until somebody offers to pay". Which is exactly what I've been doing since I decided to take my writing seriously a few years ago. Like many a (better) writer before me, I've discovered it's a long old haul getting noticed, let alone published, and I've had plenty of moments where I've considered jacking it all in.
I haven't done so, because I realised (just about the time I started taking myself seriously) that I am a writer -I just have to write. And the more I write, the more I learn about how I write, why I write and tricks to improve my writing. In the last couple of years, this appears to have paid off, and I now have several on-line credits to my name, as well as some appearances in anthologies. Up until now, I haven't been paid for any of them but it hasn't mattered. For there is nothing more heartening then receiving an email with the magic words: "We'd like to use your piece". It's a wonderful antidote to depressing tutorials, rejection slips and the many times when you look at your work in progress and decide it needs confining to the dustbin.
So I was delighted when the good folk at the Blank Media Collective accepted my piece "Following the Real Miss Piggy" as part of a publication to accompany their Inside Exhibition. They've published me in their fine magazine Blank Pages before and it was a thrill simply to be part of one of their shows. Imagine how excited I was to discover that not only was my little story in their collection, but this time round they are in a position to pay contributors. It's not much, but the experience of receiving my first cheque for a piece of fiction is absolutely priceless to me.
And thanks to my lovely husband giving me a long weekend pass, I am taking the lunch time train to Manchester in time for the launch of the exhibition.
This writing life doesn't get much better than that.