On my whiteboard in the study are some Rules gleaned from a website on writing, some years ago, now. One of the rules says, Make a career for yourself. Get anything published.
I think 'anything' might be pushing it - no-one wants to write something they're ashamed of, or that makes them uncomfortable, surely? There is more to being a writer, and a fulfilled writer at that, than the end result of being published.
But, while my novel awaits a read-through which I am increasingly afraid of engaging in, I'm working on other things. I'm part-way through several short stories, and I'm being brave by actually submitting them. Tackling this hurdle for short stories, which have less of 'me' invested in them, seems a good way of building up the courage to send off my novel, one day.
After a couple of successful letters to Reader's Digest magazine, I've hurled a few more letters off to various magazines, and one funny story, too. I'm waiting to hear if any of these get 'published' but even £10 here and £30 there make me feel more like a writer, and also top up the meagre maternity pay I'm on.
I wonder what other outlets there are for writers wanting to hone their skills and make a few pounds at the same time?