World Book Day is a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. On 3rd March 2011, the UK and Ireland celebrated World Book Day, encouraging people to explore the pleasures of a good book!
The enjoyment of reading is experienced by many people everyday, but what about if you don’t just want to read the books, but write your own? Becoming a writer is a job that many dream of, but writing as your career is something that can be seen as impossible to achieve.
Here at icould, we like to think that dream jobs can become a reality, and that the difficulties of success shouldn’t stop anyone from aiming for that goal. Starting a career as an author can often mean long periods of time living on little or no pay, but for these people, following their passion has now paid off.
Jeremy Strong grew up in a creative household and knew his future career would be something related to music, art or writing, he just wasn’t sure what. After a short time studying Music he decided it wasn’t for him and moved over to English Literature. However, it wasn’t until he started teaching that he found his writing inspiration, “All in all, I spent five years writing without getting anything published at all and of course, that was depressing. But the moment you give up, you don’t have any chance of success whatsoever. So I trained as a primary school teacher and went off to teach junior school children. I found them to be a huge source of inspiration for writing children’s stories, a huge source”.
Fellow children’s author, Katharine Holabird writes the Angelina Ballerina books. Katherine found the inspiration for her writing from her children, but that wasn’t the only source, “The turning point came when I met Helen Craig, who’s a wonderful illustrator and was then a freelance artist. We hit upon this great collaboration. Oram Press wanted Helen to illustrate a story book, so I volunteered and said, “˜let me try. I think I‘d like to write a story for children’. So I literally came home one day and sat down at the kitchen table with my two daughters dancing round me in circles and I wrote Angelina Ballerina, pretty much on the spot. Helen Craig read it, liked it and we took it and showed it to the publishers and they decided to do it”.
As with many creative careers, it can be very difficult to get started and become successful, but that shouldn’t stop you. For Marcus Sedgwick, some poor advice meant that he delayed starting his writing career for many years, “I didn’t really have a sense of being a writer when I was a child. In fact I think it was probably the complete opposite in that I got put off by it, because the only thing I can remember about being a writer was someone saying to me, “˜you can’t be writer, no-one makes money doing that’. That actually stopped me doing it until well into my adult life. I might have got round to it quite a bit sooner were it not for that. Because sometimes those little things that people say to you at the right moment can stick with you for a long time”.
If a career in writing is what you want to do, there are many organisations that can help you in the right direction. Young Writers has been working with schools for over 20 years to encourage poetry and creative writing. They run regular competitions that could give you a chance to start getting your work published.
So don’t let the stories of no money or success put you off following your dream. A career in writing can be fulfilling and successful, but only if you pursue it!