I am the editor/publisher of a small press print magazine for women writers called The Yellow Room (www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk). I publish short stories, articles and letters. I'm a writer, and have had several short stories and articles published. I have a house full of novels, most of which I haven't yet got round to reading. . .and I can't help buying more! I've almost finished writing a crime novel, but the fear of failing to get it published is sometimes overwhelming. From 1994-2006 I was the editor/publisher of Quality Women's Fiction Magazine, under my former name of Jo Good. I have a husband, teenage son (both talented musicians) and a daughter of 10, who is obsessed with animals.
One of the exciting things about writing a crime novel, for me, is discovering 'whodunit'. I'm three-quarters of the way through and I'm still not sure. There have been several possibilities along the way, but I've more or less narrowed it down to two suspects.
The downside of this, of course, is having to go back right to the beginning and tracking the character, ensuring that they were in the right place at the right time and that their character traits are in keeping with a psychopath or whatever!!
I am eager to finish my novel now, as I'd like to send it off to a Gold Dust mentor. I'm not sure about the merits of working closely with a well-known published writer on my novel, but I feel more comfortable doing this than sending it off into the ether. I'd love to hear from anyone who has experience of working with a writing mentor.
I have been mulling things over this summer. Do I need to do something completely different? Is it time to get more serious and work towards a 'proper job'? My inner gremlin has been bullying me and telling me that I'm not really a writer at all. It has been telling me that I'm wasting my time trying to write a novel when there's little chance of getting published and that I should be working towards something more useful and lucrative in the long term.
After a lot of brain storming I decided that studying for a degree in psychology would be a good idea. After all, the human mind is fascinating, and I fancied doing something 'sciency'. A new departure. At least it would silence those who thought I was idling my time away at home. I could become a qualified psychotherapist. I quite liked the idea of going out to work, meeting people, listening to them and trying to help with their mental problems and emotional issues. Or did I?
I applied for a distance learning BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Psychology with Anglia Ruskin University and got accepted. My admissions tutor also sent my application to Derby University's Psychology BSc (Hons) degree course where you automatically get accredited by The British Psychological Society (however this course is £1000 a year more expensive). I got an unconditional acceptance from Derby as well. Great. Or was it?
I'm now having serious doubts about all this. The courses are expensive, and I can only just about afford it. Do I pursue a career in writing and work harder at it? Or do I learn a completely new set of skills? This is my current dilemma. Time for some serious decision making!