You’re young but that’s no excuse. Why settle? Why be a big fish in a small pool? You can do better than this.
You need to find your ‘push’.
OK, it has fancier names, like motivation, ambition, hunger, but what it boils down to is that you need to push yourself. YOU and YOUR are the operative parts of that sentence. You know you’ve already missed at least one chance to train in journalism, because you felt the process wasn’t fair. The paper went to other schools, not yours, for its trainees. But what stopped you writing to the paper directly and asking to be considered?
Nothing? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Secretarial school was really easy for you. That’s why you got the year prize. But, you know, keyboard skills and shorthand would have been useful to that newspaper, too.
I’m really glad that you finally decided that you needed further education in order to get published and, to be truthful, you’ll be really happy writing fiction. You’re used to working in a big buzzy office but sitting alone in a room and making stuff up? Nothing beats it. But maybe that decade or so that you spend working in a bank, working part-time when the kids were little, is all good life experience. Meeting great people and hearing a lot of interesting/touching/funny stories is fantastic training for a storyteller. Yes, you could aim higher, earlier, but doing things your own way – something you’ve never been scared of – will get you there in the end. If you don’t give up. If you don’t allow yourself to be put off. If you keep working and being educated until, finally, some of those rejection letters will turn into acceptances.
Also, I think you ought to travel more. Money’s tight at times but, again, you allow other people, and their opinions of you, to put you off doing some things and going to some places that you would love. Don’t always take the easy route. Something that can’t be taken away from you is experience. Go snowboarding. Don’t wait so long to learn to scuba dive. Refuse to put money into caravanning – get on a plane!
Push. And be happy.
Sue’s latest book is LOVE & FREEDOM