I have dreamt of making my living from writing ever since I was a little girl. Over the years my dream has led me down various paths, more than one of which culminated in some form of humiliation. When I was 10, my work was shortlisted in a national poetry competition run by a major high street brand (I think it was WHSmiths). My elation was unbridled, that is until my headmistress insisted that I stand up in assembly and read both poems in front of the entire school – with accompanying sound effects. I’ve never experienced fear and embarrassment like it, before or since, and it’s really a miracle that I ever picked up a biro again (I am a huge masochist). I never took the chance to thank her for that particular act of kindness. Thanks Mrs Loader. I will forever remember you in my prayers.
When I was 15, when everyone else was under Eastbourne Pier heavy-petting and listening to Cypress Hill, I was busy writing for a community paper for young people called The Generation News, which was run by The Eastbourne Herald and distributed in all the schools in the area. It was around this time that I first smelled a newsroom – intoxicating – the first time I saw my work in print. Perhaps unsurprisingly for someone who spent their teenage years on work experience, I’ve never dabbled in crack cocaine, but I imagine the feeling you get is something like that. Magical, exhilarating – a proper buzz. Nobody read that paper. I doubt my parents even flicked through the pages. These were, after all, the musings of a bunch of 15-year-old dweebs with bad hair and even worse spelling, but I couldn’t wait to recreate that feeling. I still can’t.
So, (well) over a decade later I am finally taking the plunge and going freelance. I’ve worked in publishing for 7 or so years. I’ve learned that the book trade isn’t all massive advances and evening soirees, and I still LOVE IT (I am a masochist). I’ve been thinking like a freelancer for a long time now – juggling work with kids with magazine writing, but suddenly it’s a reality. The safety net is gone. GONE. It’s just me, myself and I (and one day probably an accountant – I hate maths). Am I scared? Not as scared as I was that day in assembly, but something approximating it. I wake up and go to bed wondering WILL IT WORK? At 11.30 at night, after another graveyard shift working on a book about… graveyards, I think to myself ‘no, it almost certainly won’t’, but then a little bit of sleep can do wonders for your dreams, and the next morning I think ‘maybe, maybe it will.’
Please get in touch through this site if you think I could bring something special to your brand literature. I love a challenge (I am a masochist).