Nobody ever expected me to get published.
I was born into a single-parent family, with a love for storytelling and an apathy for just about everything else.
When I was seven, I wrote my first short story outside of school. It was about a china teacup that had been stolen by someone I’d thought was my friend.
After writing that first short story, I wrote another.
There were times when I didn’t write much, and times when I wrote thousands of words every day. No matter what I wrote, though, my love of storytelling never went away.
Whenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d say a writer. They’d scoff, or laugh, or suggest something else, as if I’d said that I wanted to be a fairy warrior princess.
I was from a working-class background. Creative jobs just weren’t seen as acceptable or accessible.
‘You can’t make a living doing that,’ they’d say.
And yet…they’d try to tell me how to make a living writing. Apply to this competition in a women’s magazine; apply to that competition in a children’s magazine; become a teacher instead. They were trying to help, but they didn’t know any more about how to make a living from writing than I did.
This continued into my teens and early twenties. I studied Creative Writing at university, but even the employment team there didn’t know what potential careers would play to my strengths.
Turns out, there’s a lot you can do with a writing degree.
Everything changed for me when a friend suggested I start copywriting.
Copywriting gave me a way to make money from writing.
Not only that, but anything I learnt about copywriting and marketing would help me with a day job and my future writing career.
It’s through that path that she guided me down back in 2013 that you’re reading this right now. (Thanks Tori!)
I don’t make a living from publishing my books, or from The Writer’s Cookbook, but I do make a living as a content marketer. And I’m OK with that. My writing helps my readers to escape. It educates them on important issues like mental health and the responsibilities we have as writers. That’s more important to me than how much money lies in my bank account.
While I’ve been writing for 20 years, I only published my first book two years ago. Back then, I didn’t know nearly as much about marketing—or even storytelling—as I thought I did.
Over the course of the last three years, I’ve had a crash course in writing, marketing, publishing, friendship, and, most surprisingly, myself. I’ve learnt more than traditional education could have ever taught me. I’ve met some inspiring people, and inspired people myself. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.