(Updated from previous blog post published on ailiewallace.com)
Writers and creatives all have their own dreams and aspirations. It could be writing a best-selling novel, winning a prestigious award, or having your work performed on-stage.
As with any creative pursuit, it takes time, patience and the ability to deal with lots of rejections before you hit the big-time. My way of coping is to set small goals for myself and celebrate each achievement I make on my journey. These small goals will hopefully be stepping stones to much grander things in the future.
In each of the following instances I have exceeded my own expectations, so in my mind, that’s a success I can be proud of!
Here are my proudest moments as a writer so far:
Joining A Writing Class
When I decided to get into writing, I was at quite a low point in my life. I was stuck in a job I hated, and my confidence was close to zero. It had been years since I’d done any sort of creative writing, so I knew that joining a writing class was a necessary step in my plan.
I remember going along to the first meeting, and literally shaking with nerves as I walked in. I was too shy to read aloud, so I had to ask the group leader to read an extract of a story that I had prepared. The reaction I got from the rest of the group was more than I could ever have imagined. Not only was everyone incredibly supportive, but they genuinely seemed wowed by my work. This was a huge confidence boost, and reaffirmed to me that writing was worth pursuing.
I still keep in touch with everyone I met in that first writing class.
Leaving My Full-Time Job
Quitting my full-time job was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life, and I practically skipped out of the office on my last day. Life is too short to be stuck doing something you hate. Although I’m not making as much money, I have the freedom to set my own rules, work wherever and whenever I like and, best of all, I’ll never have to deal with those toxic co-workers ever again!
My First Public Performance
I knew when I chose to become a writer that performing and speaking in public would be a huge part of my job. The only problem was, I always felt ill at the thought of getting up in front of a group of people. Thankfully, I found a local spoken-word event where the atmosphere was very friendly and welcoming.
The first time I just went along to spectate, but the following month I returned, determined to give it a go. I was so nervous that the paper shook and my voice quivered as I stumbled through words on the page. I know it wasn’t the best performance, but somehow I didn’t even care. I was amazed that I’d actually got up and done it!
My Own Magazine Column
I have worked with a lot of magazines and newspapers in my time as a freelance writer, but by far the most exciting thing I have done so far is having my own column published in 17 Degrees Magazine, where I work as an Associate Editor.
Launching a Poetry Collection
By far my biggest achievement so far is holding a launch party for my poetry pamphlet, The Goddess Collection, where all my friends, family and colleagues came along to hear me reading extracts from the book. Hopefully the first book launch of many…