"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

All material on SHIMMERCASTDREAMS copyright of Marie Bruce and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Friday, 17 January 2014

WRITER'S DREAM; 2014 - My Coming of Age Year!

This year marks my career's 18th Birthday and my Coming of Age as a Writer.

It is something I fully intend to celebrate 

18 years in the business and still publishing...worth celebrating!

 2014 is a significant year for me because it marks my coming of age as a writer...it is exactly 18 years ago this spring that I had my very first piece of work published.  At the time I didn't get paid for it; I didn't even get a by-line initially; that came later; but it was a break through nonetheless. I was published and people I'd never met in life would be able to read and enjoy my work.

That small step led onto far bigger things.  I went from publishing poetry...to writing home-study courses for a leading esoteric distance learning school...to writing the odd magazine article...to being an author of M,B,S books...to a regular columnist in national magazines...to guest writing sleeve notes and poetry for a New Age record label... to writing and singing my own original pagan songs as a recording artist with another record label...and so it continues to this day.

I often wonder where I might be if I had been too proud to write free, funny poems for a pub guide in my early 20's.  If I had turned down that initial opportunity, or given up on it due to the stick I took from friends for doing it, would the publishing industry have remained closed to me forever?  Maybe.

I do believe that a large part of my success is down to grasping every available chance in the early years. Once you have established yourself in your chosen field, you can be more selective, but to start with you just need to show up and be happy to be there. No-one owes you a dream come true.

If I was given £1.00 for every occasion I've heard the dismissive phrase "Marie's been very lucky" I wouldn't need to write at all. But it isn't down to luck, or even just hard work and a positive attitude.  Of course those things do help but talent, ability, productivity, reliability and professionalism must all be present to manifest success.

I also believe that my resilience is a key factor in my longevity as a writer.  Being published also means dealing with rejection and I've had my fair share of that too, yet it didn't stop me turning up at my desk every day and writing, working away at projects with no promise of publication or financial remuneration.

I think it is sometimes easier for people to tell themselves that I have just been lucky, rather than admit that while my peers drifted along, I set my goal at a young age and I worked steadily towards it, making sacrifices along the way. It's just easier for those individuals with a deep sense of entitlement to dismiss my success as a stroke of good fortune.

Lucky chances are fleeting and soon pass.
I have been consistently published for 18 years - that's not down to luck.
When people ask "Who is your publisher?" I respond with "Which one? Books, magazines or music?" That's not down to luck either.

I do feel very fortunate and I don't take my published status for granted. It isn't something I feel entitled to, it's something I am privileged to be. But I didn't just 'get lucky'. I have worked hard for years, in a low paid and sometimes non-paid industry and I deserve to be where I am today.  I am excited by the thought of where the next 18 years will take me and my work. I am proud of all that I've published so far. I have achieved almost every personal writing goal that I set.

Almost... I still have one or two goals up my sleeve and plots to be hatched!

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