Thursday, 17 June 2010

Writing is Cheap

I was in stern teacher mode the other day, telling someone off for not sending her work out. 'But it's so expensive,' she bleated.

Mistake! Of all the excuses you can provide this one is the pits, worse than your dog happening to have eaten the one and only copy of your short story. Yes, there is some expense - postage, envelopes, paper, short story competition entry fees, fees for feedback. I'm excluding a computer from the list because most people have access to one at home or work or via the library. You could add creative writing course fees, tickets to lit fests and author events, creative writing books and magazines, but the basics are pretty simple: pens, paper, postage.

All of it put together does not add up to the same amount as a set of golf clubs and golf club membership. Or painting - paints and canvasses are incredibly expensive. I can't think of any hobby, pastime, leisure pursuit, call it what you will, that's cheaper both for initial investment and on going costs.

You're frightened of rejection. You're frightened of success. You have all sorts of complicated stuff going on in your head and your life and sending out your work will only add another layer of stress and anxiety in an already stressful and anxious life. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes. Yes to all of that. Tell me that, and I'm as sympathetic as could be. But too expensive to write? No.

Who lives near Birmingham? On 23rd June 6.30 - 8.30 Lucy Diamond, Milly Johnson, Veronica Henry and me will be talking about writing at Birmingham Library. Come and meet us!

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