I’ve been a writer for as long as I can recall. I’m not entirely sure when I started, but my earlier writing memories are from Year 7 at school. I would have been 11. There was a creative writing club at my school, and I joined it. We even “published” a little book.
My first publication came about the same time. I wrote a poem about the BCG vaccination we all got in Year 9. My dad showed it to my writing teacher, who showed it to the nurse, who stuck it up in the local medical centre. And somehow it got submitted to a competition. And then published in a book.
Since then I’ve had several more poems published, even a short story or two. I’ve only ever been paid for one though. I got a nice cheque through the post, that didn’t even cover the cost of buying a copy of the magazine. But that’s not the important thing. I have a colour scan of the cheque in a frame.
I struggled with writers’ block for a long time. A long, long, horrible time. A time when I couldn’t get more than two or three words down on a page without feeling like it was complete trash, and during which I felt like a traitor for having the word “wordsmith” tattooed on my back.
But a couple of years ago I started attending a creative writing class at my local college and everything changed. I found the course invaluable. I made a good group of friends, I have a wonderful mentor who supports and encourages me all the time. I found the prompts and homework to be great in getting me to write. And since then I’ve attended three more terms of the class. I’m not attending this term because of finances, but I do hope to go back in the Spring.
In the past year or so I’ve written some wonderful pieces that I’m very proud of. Unfortunately I can’t publish them on my blog, because apparently that counts as being published, which prohibits me from entering certain competitions. But I am submitting them to competitions and for publications, so hopefully you’ll see them eventually.
In the meantime, you can follow my trials and troubles on my blog here, and see lots of examples of some of my micro-fiction, which I’m really enjoying writing.