Yesterday Facebook pinged one of those ‘On This Day’ notifications. Now usually these follow a fairly standard pattern where in past years I have updated my status with the news that:
- one of the kids said something daft
- I ran somewhere
- I ate either cheese, cake, chocolate or biscuits
- the cat is sitting on me or trying to steal my lunch
This one was a bit different. It was me 2 years ago, sharing my very first short story publication on Facebook. The story was called ‘London Falls’, published on the Londonist website, and if you wish you can read it here.
I find it hard to believe that it was only 2 years ago; so much seems to have happened since then. In May 2014 I was working full-time, with a killer commute, and getting used to a new organisation. Just under a year later I gave notice, with the aim of, somehow, making a living through writing. Possibly not the most sensible decision I’ve ever made, but I’m a great deal happier for it.
I wouldn’t say I’m quite there yet in terms of making a living. However, if you’d asked me in May 2014 what I thought I’d be doing in 2016, I would never have said that I’d have published one book of short stories and be working on a second; never mind all the book drafts that are waiting their turn to come out of the files. My brain wouldn’t have been able to jump that far ahead from one 1000-word story. I knew very little about publishing a book, which was probably just as well, because if I’d realised how much I would have to learn to bring a book into the world, I might have given up before I’d even started.
So does this post have a point, as well as a whole lot of reflection? One thing which struck me was that a pretty small thing brought about a big change – for me at least. Then again, reading my 2014 status update, I could feel how excited I was to share my story, and how nervous. What would people think of it, and of me? What if they hated it? What if they actually liked it? So maybe even then, somewhere in the back of my head, there was an inkling that this meant something, more than just some words on a webpage.
Oh yes, and I’ve just eaten a biscuit. I thought you’d want to know.