Writing, the free hobby

Hello! Hope you had a lovely Easter. We didn’t do much, but managed to find a quiz to go to on Easter Sunday – mid-way through, we were doing so badly that we were looking for ways to make a sharp exit. However, we (my parents, Gordon and I) made a comeback and finally WON a quiz…albeit by one point.

Back to the writing. I wanted to say that writing is a great hobby, because it doesn’t take up any energy and it costs nothing (I also love to pencil-draw portraits, which is almost free). Unfortunately, now I’m meant to be a writer, suddenly I’ve discovered that I’m meant to know about the art of writing, belong to groups/forums, have an agent, and be able to advise others (who probably know more about being an aspiring author than I do)! I only know a little about something, something about nothing, and nothing about everything else!

* A writer apparently must have a current copy of The Writers’ And Artists’ Yearbook, or similar – cost £15 (less online, or free if you can find it in your local library)
* I found an online writers’ community which was both friendly and helpful – cost £30 per year (worth the outlay, if I had it!) There are free groups via Yahoo which are equally as useful and friendly, but if you join these groups, you need to be prepared to contribute, and they all know more than I do about ‘the craft’, as they call it)
* Society of Authors – many people have advised joining the SoA, which seems like a good idea, but I think it’s around £85

I haven’t been able to save up for the above yet, but is it worth investing any more in this venture? Or should I say ad-venture? I’m not so sure – this feels more like my fifteen minutes of fame than the start of a career… Maybe that’s why my local shops aren’t taking an interest (Natalie still can’t get in touch with the lovely ladies at Waterstones in Newcastle or Borders in Gateshead). Good job that Waterstones in Hexham and Henry’s in Ryton stocked the book, or I would never have fulfilled my dream of seeing something I’d written on the shelves (that sounds like I mean graffiti, but I meant my book).

Fortunately, I have heard from Tony at the M.E. Assocation who has inforrmed me that I am featured on the cover of their magazine and have a full page article inside – I’m honoured, as the M.E. Association is a great organisation (www.meassociation.org.uk) and they have a very informative website. Apologies to the good people who are members of the Association and find a picture of me, looking up at them from their doormats, when they receive their quarterly copy of M.E. Essentials!

Between you and I, I’m more than a little uncomfortable that people seem to think it’s such a big deal that I’ve written a book, just because of this CFS/ME thing. There are people far worse off than I am, and achieve more with their lives. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, as I’m pretty happy, really. I know I can’t do as much as I’d like to (and get very frustrated about it, believe me) but I count myself as lucky compared to some people.

Let’s just agree that I’m so dull and boring that the CFS is the only thing that differentiates me from other writers!