My lovely writing friend Helen Hunt is holding a short story workshop at the end of July, aimed at the women's magazine market. She's had plenty of success in this area and knows her onions, so if you're looking to break into the market ... don't sign up. There's enough competition out there already. I'm kidding. No really, I am. DO sign up - I know you'll have an enjoyable and informative experience.
I once did a creative writing course at a local college, when the children were little. My ex-husband didn't believe me and thought I was having an affair. With three children under five, I can't imagine how he thought I had the energy to cheat on him AND write a short story to show him when I got home. But I digress...
Several people on the course were, in my opinion, genuinely talented - one young chap in particular had us in stitches every week with his inventive, off-the-wall tales, and I was certain that one day I'd be either reading his bestselling novel, or seeing a screenplay he'd written. We all did.
I bumped into him in Boots the other day. He works there full time now, and gave up writing soon after the course ended and I couldn't help thinking what a shame. Writing obviously wasn't for him and yet ... I'd bet my life that if he'd persevered he'd be wildly successful by now, because he was a hell of a lot more gifted than most of us in the group - myself included.
It made me realise whoever said writing is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration is absolutely true for those who stick with it, and the rest?
I guess they'll never know.