In a rare ‘flow of creativity’, I find myself considering Career Plan B. Soon to be famous winner of international writing competition. Successful novelist. Astounding travel journalist. Stunning short story contributor to women’s magazines. Guest speaker with the biggest tent at Hay.
Plan C looms larger. Boring blogger.
Am I just in love with the idea of writing, or is it a realistic way of whiling away a few hours (days, weeks, months) and possibly earning a crust? This blog, for example, is being typed ‘cold’ as a stream of consciousness, rather than something considered and crafted. Which, in today’s climate of communication from tweet to saga, is probably far too basic if you want to be noticed. Once upon a time there were fewer writers, so if you had the urge to contribute to the library shelves, and the drive to do so, you probably stood a far better chance of being published. But then again, once upon a time you could find a market for stories that began with ‘once upon a time’. At the weekend I paid 50p for an Enid Blyton collection of short stories based on the Bible – a quick skim through reminded me how her straight forward writing style enamored my ten year old self. Indeed, now I think about it, my style of prose is very similar to her own. But, if Enid were alive today, would her books enthrall in the same way, given that there are far more authors out there with, dare I say it, far more talent?
Nowadays there is a wealth of writing to be found, on every conceivable platform. Is there financial wealth, though? Does the sheer breadth of competition and talent mean that a novice, unless truly outstanding, has little chance of being read, let alone managing to secure a publishing deal? More positively, does it really matter? Very few writers become rich in money; but rich in the enjoyment of process is not to be undervalued. Never underestimate the value of spending time doing something you enjoy. This, believe it or not, is how I relax.
If you have something to say to the world, the beauty of the 21st century is how easy it is to publish. Just spend 10 minutes on your blog (as I have just done), click save. It’s out there.
Whether anyone will read it is another matter.