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Hope springs eternal

Last week I thought that my story hadn’t  been picked in a competition. Then I found out that it had. Gutted and then thrilled. My story might be published and that would make me a published writer. I won’t get paid and it’s not prestigious, but, still, picked and published. That’s big for me.
I’ve always written, but four years ago I decided that I wanted my dream of being a published writer to be realised and that the only way to achieve this was to write something and ask someone to publish it. Yeah, bloody genius I am!
People often say that the answer to the question ‘how do I become a writer?’ is ‘write’, but it isn’t that simple.
I’ve made my living for the last, cough, quite a few years from my pen. I’ve written for and as corporations and organisations in all manner of for,s on all manner of subjects, from pensioners’ hobbies to medical research, from corporate law to kitchen hygiene. It’s not the same though. That wasn’t me writing, that wasn’t my voice. The content was theirs and the voice was them, but better (at least that was the plan). I was a translator of other people’s ideas, offers and desires.
And I’ve always written the other stuff: angst-ridden poetry, journals, stories… But I’ve never written this in the expectation of an audience beyond me and a few friends – and never in the hope of being paid. This is what I now want. It has taken a lot for me even to say that. It means expressing a belief in my ability to write and having a hope – publicly admitted – that may not be fulfilled. But I have it; I have that hope.

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