‘Always keep your receipts’, this was the only advice my mate could give me when I was considering becoming self-employed while living in the UK. He didn’t really know why I had to keep the receipts, but it was vitally important that I kept my receipts.
This was the only bit of prior knowledge I had when I embarked on my new career. Up until about a month ago, I had spent the best part of 10 years working for several engineering consultancies. However, the time had come to hang up my adjustable spanner and dungarees, and try my hand at that classic craft, as old as the spoken word itself, of Story Teller, Imagination Weaver, Fantasy Fulfiller… and seller of dog biscuits on the side to make ends meet.
This blog is an account of this new career direction. Documenting the highs and inevitable lows of a struggling writer’s predictable descent into alcoholism, loneliness and clichés. Hopefully a bit more entertaining that it depressingly sounds, and ideally shorter than 500 words, it may serve as your mid-week escapism for five minutes.
‘And the dog biscuits…?’ I hear your mumble, as you lose interest and close the blog entry.
Well, I’m mindful that even if the writing goes brilliantly well, it still doesn’t pay a great deal more than if I was just working for free, so something was needed to fill the financial gap. Although it could be argued that my original engineering job filled this void nicely, it’s not as interesting as making dog biscuits in my kitchen several times a week. Who wants to hear about spread sheets and engineering projects, when they could be reading about how I spent last weekend standing in the freezing cold, at the entrance to the local dog park trying to sell biscuits to reluctant dog owners.
Whether there is much of a cross over between people who are interested in dogs and struggling writers is yet to be seen, and will most likely be demonstrated via how many people continue to read past the blog title and the number of ‘Likes’ I get.
‘OK, that clears up the dog biscuits. But what was the relevance of the receipts bit at the start? Plus, I’m really not a fan of this assumption that you know what your readers are thinking’.
Well, the receipts bit was meant to be a set up for a story about my first trip as a writer, and how I made a point of keeping my receipts, but then lost them. The anecdote sounded better in my head. Thankfully I was approaching the maximum word count to prevent me dragging it out any further. Maybe the struggling writer status is justified.
(And yes, I am aware that in the past I said that I never liked blogs, but then I also said I’d never get a pet. But 1 cat, 2 dogs and a blog later, here we are)