Guest Post by Anne Stormont
Like Cathryn, and many of you who read her blog, I too am a writer. I don’t earn my living by writing, but I am a writer.
I’m a fifty-something Scot living in Skye. I’ve been married for over thirty years and have two grown up children. I’ve worked as a primary school teacher for the last 32 years – a job I still enjoy.
I’ve written since I could ‘scribble’ write, before starting school. My wonderful grandmother used to ‘read’ the stories I’d scribbled and I was enchanted by, and completely believed, the notion that I’d written actual stories.
When I was a young, working mother, my productivity waned. I kept journals and did the occasional piece of sustained writing. But always, I thought one day… one day I’ll write that novel.
But it wasn’t until I had a brush with mortality, that I really took my writing seriously. Following my diagnosis with ovarian cancer, I promised myself that if I survived, I’d stop procrastinating and become a writer. I’d learn the craft and I’d do the work. My treatment was successful and keeping the promise has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I took some courses, joined a writers’ club and an online writing community. I wrote and wrote. Then I rewrote and rewrote. I went in for competitions and got constructive feedback.
Then I won a couple of prizes for my unpublished novel. I joined the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers Scheme. I was told by the Association that the book was of publishable standard. This gave me the confidence to submit it to agents and publishers and I got lots of nice, kind, and encouraging rejections.
It was then I decided to explore the option of self-publishing. I found a wonderful, professional editor who put my book through two complete edits. Working with this editor was an amazing experience. He didn’t pull his punches and he pushed me to the limit. He would accept nothing but the best and I learned a lot about the craft of writing. I also found a graphic artist to design a cover for the book and was delighted with the end result.
In January 2010 my book, ‘Change of Life’, was published by New Generation. The thrill of holding a copy of my book is something I’ll never forget.
Next came the marketing. I visited and emailed bookshops asking them to stock my book. I also did a radio and a newspaper interview.
I was advised to start a blog. I’m not sure that the blog has generated any sales, but I love writing it whatever. After all, it’s writing – it’s another opportunity to indulge my passion.
Next I joined Twitter – good decision. Twitter was recommended as a way of publicising the blog and the book. And, to a certain extent, it has served that purpose. But more importantly, I’ve built up a lovely, supportive network of fellow writers – Cathryn included.
My current project is a children’s novel. I also write a regular feature for the online writers’ magazine ‘Words with Jam’ and of course there’s the blog.
It can be hard to find time – and energy – to focus on writing. Like all of you, I have a busy life. But a vital part of my life, is writing and, besides, I have that promise to keep.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Be careful what you wish for…
Wife to heart surgeon and control freak, Tom, and mother to four adolescent children, Rosie feels taken for granted as she juggles family life and her work as a teacher. She longs for a change of life.
When she hits a teenage boy with her car, her life explodes into uncharted territory. The boy is Robbie – and Rosie discovers he is part of a terrible secret that Tom has kept for seventeen years. Then Rosie is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Rosie leaves home and begins the fight for her life. Meanwhile Tom, is forced to learn what it means to be a husband and father. He struggles to keep his family together and strives to get his wife back.
Available as a paperback and e-book from Amazon