January joy – I have been attempting the accounts for my writer-friendly B&B: “Peacehaven” You can’t blame a person for plugging her day job, can you?
It’s a slog through all the receipts and expenses to see what I have made. Amongst all the spreadsheet terrors, I’ve been thinking about the profit-and-loss of my writing.
Thus far the only money I have made was from a lovely writing group who came for a seaside awayday here.
On the other side of the financial balance sheet, I have forked out for:
- MA Creative Writing
- Winchester Writing Festivals including 1 to 1s
- SCBWI conferences, workshops, masterclasses
- GEA workshops, editorials, events
- dozens of how-to manuals
- scores of research materials – books, talks, exhibitions
This doesn’t reflect the hours I’ve spent reading blogposts, watching TED talks, taking part in #GEAQA #askagent and such like.
Not exactly profitable.
There is a serious general point to this. It is a terrible thought that only the rich and reasonably well-off might be able to pursue a writing career. How can stories reach out to all people if they only come from one small sector of society?
As for my own ledger, I have immeasurable credits to record – none of which would impress a bank manager:
- an astonishing array of supportive friends, mostly as batty as I am
- chances to meet and gable on at my literary heroines and heroes
- inordinate challenges I never thought to tackle
- growth both literary and personal I had not expected
- genuine interaction with readers of this blog and my pieces for Words & Pictures,
- conversations both silly and serious on Twitter and Facebook
Without that balance in my favour I could never have written
- The 13th Pharaoh
- Broken Wings and Buraq
- The Wedding Ghost
- The Selkies of Scoresby Nab
They might not all be published – yet – but they do mean I can say I am a writer. So when I am at The Big Honk, whether I get any interest from agents – or it’s a fine excuse to dress up and chat #kidlit, I am already well in credit.