Post empty nest syndrome (read my article on the subject, won’t you? I took a writing course. I was the only person in the class who didn’t have a manuscript clutched to my bosom. My classmate friends thought that doing the course would teach them  how to produce a publishable manuscript. The course only teaches you how to enhance the skills you already have.

I’d foolishly believed that taking a writing course was like studying to be a teacher or a nurse. I believed that at the end of it I would be a fully fledged writer. Spurred on by my friends I began a novel at school. It makes a dandy door stop.

I have won some short story competitions but short stories are just as hard to write well as novels and anyhow unless you’re already a famous novelist nobody wants to publish a collection of your short stories. Only now, years later, I am attempting to write a book for toddlers which is harder than it seems. Believe me. Everyone finds their niche, that’s what I’ve discovered.  Mine seems to be article writing. I’ve had articles professionally published, but that’s a minefield too. You have to make sure your sending an article where it’s wanted and make sure that you’re aiming your article at the right market.  I also make sure to push outside that square now and again.

56 thoughts on “About me

  1. Dear Mary,

    I find your honesty about the trials and tribulations of writing….. courageous, open and disarming. My own journey into writing also has its ups and downs. In my naivety some years ago I joined the Guild of Food Writers. I thought I’d find a good writer to buddy up with and offer to teach them more about cooking in return for help with my writing. Instead I found some established food writers resented a chef who wished to write, and guarded their territory and connections very closely. So through trial and error I worked on my english skills and developed my own style. As for my niche, as a freelance chef, slash food writer, slash restaurant consultant ,slash teacher…I’m still searching. 🙂

    Best Wishes


    • Thanks so much for those nice comments, Kevin. When you write something you think may be good, you hope someone will confirm it.
      I love foodie websites,. People are so generous in sharing what they know. It’s great in particular because you have access to the author and can badger him with silly questions. (Not naming names)
      As for the other, I think you must have had bad luck to choose people who may have seen you as younger competition and as a threat. You’re obviously proving that being successful is its best reward.

  2. Thanks for stopping by! I’m a frustrated writer too and only did my Creative writing based degree when I was 44! My cookery blog is helping me scratch the itch but I’d still love to write more. My second book is still in progress and the first one unpublished. I’m following you as I think we have a lot in common 🙂

    • Thanks, Anne. I’ve visited your blog before and like it. I’m constantly looking out for like minded bloggers. It would be nice to have you drop in occasionally and set a spell. 🙂

      • I’ll definitely be back 🙂 Do you have a way for readers to sign up to be notified by email when you post? I can’t see anything on your site about this.

      • Anne, I used to have a follow button, then it disappeared. I have had another go at reinstating it. Hope you can find it now. And thanks, in anticipation. 🙂

  3. I stopped by to see who you were after you left a comment. You’ve done a whole lot more professional writing than I have. I’ve done none. I took a writing class at the senior center and enjoyed one but not the second. You are doing quite well with it. I’ll peruse more.

    • If I’ve done more professional writing than you have, it’s probably because I’ve been at it longer than you have. I did tire and stop for a while, it’s also tempting to press your own publish button. But I’ve got my moxie back. Keep on keeping on is my motto. Thanks very much for dropping in. 🙂

  4. I once walked straight past the classroom of my writing course because the guy taking the class looked more like Angry Anderson than Dan Brown. (FYI Angry Anderson is a short, solid, bald ex rock singer covered in tattoos!) There were no other classes so that must have been it!
    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Richard. Being an Aussie, I know who Angry Anderson is. My teacher looked quite mild, but wasn’t. How much do you think you got out of your writing classes?

      • Ah. Wasn’t sure so I thought I’d clarify that! 😉
        Writing class for me was a mixture of some basic things I recalled from school and new things like scene structure and adding dimension to characters for a more believable story. That was it’s focus: writing believable fiction. I found it quite worthwhile, though it was a short 7 week course. There is a wealth of writing advice on many writer’s blogs these days. I find Kristen Lamb’s blog to be an excellent source of information.

  5. Good for you, to keep looking, keep writing! Finding that magic sweet spot between what we want to create and what the world wants can be quite a journey, can’t it? I’m so glad you visited, so that I could find you 🙂

    • So kind, Rhonda that you like my writing. I do so appreciate a positive comment or any comment at all, really. You’re right, I tend to jump in with both feet, but in real life that often gets me into trouble. 🙂

    • Darling Jules,thank you so much. I’ll check it all out when my Pearlie granddaughters go back home (spent the end of year holidays with us). Hugs, Hugs Hugs, Hugs

    • Dear Marlyn, I’m not sure about being inspiring but it’s so lovely to be wanted. Especially as I have my doubting moments. Thanks so very much for the nomination. Hugs.

  6. Pingback: Sunshine Award | 2bcreativeblog

    • I can’t believe it, how wonderful. Thanks so much Sandra. I’ve read the information on your blog and will see to things when I come home tomorrow night. (not sure how to go about a couple of things, but will email you to ask for advice . Thanks again. I’ve seen other people’s awads and certainly never imagined I’d have a chance at one myself. Yay! And Hooray! 🙂 🙂

  7. YOur post resonated with me, I still have one lad at home, but barely see him. Empty nest, feeling a bit spare, that’s how I am too!! Hope you pop along to my blog and check it out. I don’t have any structure to my blog though. It’s like a journal for myself, thoughts, poems, articles, pictures. Anything goes!

    • Glad you could relate. I think all empty nesters can, even those whose sons are using our homes as a guest house 🙂
      Haven’t seen your blog yet, but will visit soon. It might be like a journal, but it’s not of course as you’re providinhg your insights to the electronic community. Better than sticking your journal in the dusty proverbial bottom drawer. 🙂

  8. I took about 1/2 of a Children’s literature writing course. (I’m a dropout… life got in the way) It certainly is not as easy as everyone seems to think it is. It took more of my time than I had to give…. Every blogger must struggle with the concept of having various blogs. Even in retirement, I can only handle one! I enjoy your blog as it is!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Ruth. Life does get in the way, doesn’t it? But there is a lot to be said for life experience. I’m betting you came away from that half a course with something. Finishing my course hasn’t made me famous, but I look back fondly on those days. I’m a great believer in learning for its own sake and that nothing is wasted.
      I’ve also been sampling your blog and enjoying it very much.

  9. “still deciding whether to organise a second blog and divide up the themes or stick to what I’ve got.” A tough decision! I almost always opt for theme-specific blogs, but the result is that you end up with four or five different blogs, inevitably end up giving attention to the one you’re most interested in in the moment, and the others languish. Spreading one’s self too thin, as they say. What do you think about more concentrated versus more inclusive blogs?

    • I think you’re right about theme specific blogs (although I will hook into whatever looks interesting) and I agree that if I divide my articles up I will probably end up giving one blog more attention over another. That’s why I’m agonising about it.
      By the way, what do you mean when you say ”more concentrated versus more inclusive blogs?’

      • A blog that has a specific concentration, or focuses on a more narrow range of topics, versus an inclusive blog, which spans more and various topics. I’ve had many a blog fall by the wayside because I made it over-specialized and I found myself wanting to write about other things.

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