This motivational video is SPORTY, as most are. Why? Athletes know the part BELIEF plays in their success. In fact (as followers from 2013) will know, it was whilst watching the athletes competing in the Summer Olympics of 2012 that I first conceived my 16 year writing plan.
My sporting achievements (alongside County Netball and 3rd in the Egg and Spoon Race)! ^^^^^
Who wants a 5 year plan? Now I have a vague one year plan (nothing on paper, although that is a great idea for manifesting goals) and from that comes the 4 year plan.
There was never a 5 year plan, just the 16 years of trying. Gold medallist after gold medallist spoke of their ‘journey’ to achieving GOLD and for many of them the success was the result of trying Games after Games. For some of the older (still younger than me) athletes it was their 4th Games (4×4 = 16) they made it – then retired to coaching or presenting or promoting sports.
This is where we have the advantage – a writer (and many do) go on writing until they die or find they can no longer create new work. We can go on long after our bodies have aged, with all sorts of tech that can produce our manuscripts without the need for typing, as long as our minds are still active we can continue giving the world something new to read.
In just one year of writing poetry and nearly 2 years of writing I am well on my way to my first Olympic games and as you can read in this blog, lots has happened in that short space of time.
I should point out that I have done my training, I was a ‘young writer’ (before that term was used and in a very different world than today, no internet, no groups for 16-25 year old talented writers, no young writer groups like the one I work with at The Hive) it was a very insular writing experience. First published at the age of 15, my work appeared in various publications and anthologies of poetry, it was only just before leaving for university (an Olympic Games later) that I even admitted (confessed) publically to writing, let alone telling people I was published.
During my time at university, studying drama, I took to the stage at various venues around the East Midlands performing poetry.
After graduating I worked as an actress, performance poet and wrote for theatre. Within a year I found myself studying Creative Writing and was tutored by famous/ re-known local and national writers & journalists, including the much loved Sue Townsend. I embarked on a career as a Freelance Writer – alongside facilitating Poetry Workshops in schools, promoting local writing / performance events and leading Drama Workshops for the corporate world.
It is AMAZING what young ambitious 21 year olds can achieve!
A large part of me wishes I had stuck with it but it didn’t pay well and I had other ambitions, like owning a home and travelling the world, both of which needed money. Ironically, I believe if I had stuck at it I would still have achieved those dreams. So, if you are under 25 and already doing something creative with your life, stick with it! If it is your path, you will know.
I trained as a teacher and later a life coach.
At the beginning of this career change I was still in tune with a shadow of my dream and set up a website and online community in 2000 called A Writers Fountain – domains and the internet at the time was relatively new to users, despite this we became the number one ranking community network/website within weeks and stayed in poll position for 2 years that our URL existed. My website for those involved in 52 was similar in concept and network, but writing was divided into genres and sub-sections. AWF helped many across the world realise their dream …. had relationships, marriages and publication success too.
Young 20- somethings are pretty good at realising their dreams too!
Sadly, MSN sites were abolished and although I bought a domain name, the set up of the website wasn’t as good as the original and we lost several hundred members when we moved URL. The experience was not the same for the user. Imagine a premiere league sports team playing in your local club venue – how different that would feel, it was the same.
Back in the early 2000s web design was expensive and there was little option. In the end it was costing too much money and it didn’t feel the same, my own offline life was increasingly complicated and I abandoned the site and writing, although that process happened a little slower. I made no submissions after 2003 and had stopped writing altogether. (None of these ‘writing’ decisions happened on a conscious level.)
I was a full-time teacher for 12 years alongside some short-term lecturing and mentoring work. I did buy the house (then sold it and bought again with Mr G) and did some travelling. Followed by more travelling (on a bigger budget) seeing the world 5 weeks at a time!
Until illness in 2012 re-awoke me and made me accept who I am. A creative soul was fed once more and here we are in AWF mark 2# a blog. I had never blogged before 2013 and I LOVE it! Last year I had more time to explore the world of blogs and blogging, since then my own writing life has kept me busy offline – and I still teach to pay the mortgage, having learnt back in the 90s that you need a plan to support your creativity as it is a poverty placed career choice (as is the Arts in any context) unless and until you are Hollywood block buster level or JK Rowling!
I went part-time and now I work supply and spend the other half of my week writing and getting creative. I now work as an Assistant Writer and Mentor for Writing West Midlands and am a Performance Poet and Freelance Writer, my world has done a 360 turn!
You are never too old and people in their 30s aren’t old anyway!
Moving onto the promised video… here it is!
As the title says KEEP GOING!
Whatever you are doing – do it better, do it well.
So ignore the sportiness of this video and pay attention to the words!