Being a writer was one of my dreams as a child. I loved escaping into my imagination- reading and writing stories- and I always hoped that I would be able to share my writing one day.
When I was about 14, looking for something to do during the long summer holiday, I found a poetry competition in a magazine, and wrote and submitted a poem. I was surprised and delighted when I found out that my poem had been accepted and was going to be published in a book!
I was also embarrassed though, because by this point I thought it was a truly awful poem. It was some kind of feminist rant about why we didn’t need boys, and I don’t think it was even very well written. I didn’t want to put my name to it, so I chose a pseudonym. I only went through with allowing it to be published because I had been promised that I would get my share of the royalties.
I eagerly looked forward to the day when the cheque would arrive, only to find that instead of a cheque it was an envelope containing some coins, and that my royalties amounted to the princely sum of 65p!!!! (which, to be fair, is probably more than it was worth!)
That was the beginning and end of my writing career.
I kept writing, but only in journals, until just over a year ago, when I began blogging and discovered Five Minute Friday.
If you haven’t encountered Five Minute Friday, I’d encourage you to check it out. It is a wonderful community of bloggers. Every Friday (well, Thursday night at 10pm EST, which is 3am Friday for me!) a one word prompt is published and the challenge is to write a post based on that prompt in just five minutes, without editing or over-thinking. I confess that the perfectionist in me often drives me to edit and I frequently get carried away and go over the five minutes, but I love the challenge of writing and I love the community.
It is always amazing to see how one word can spark so many different posts. It is also such a friendly and welcoming community. Some of my best blog friendships have begun here and it is a joy to be a part of it. I’m not sure I would have been able to keep blogging without the encouragement and motivation this community has provided.
Earlier this year there was the opportunity to contribute to a Five Minute Friday book- a compilation of favourite posts- so I submitted a post, and it is featured in the book which was released this week.
My post is based on the prompt word “alone” and I’m pleased to share something of what God has done in my life. This time I am writing under my real name and I am pleased to own my words. (If you’ve been following this blog you will understand why that is a big deal for me.)
I am also honoured to be featured in this book alongside many far more accomplished and experienced writers.
And this time I’m not doing it for the royalties, though I hope it makes a lot more than 65p because the profits are going to be divided equally between two ministries in South Africa: The Vine School in Cape Town, and The Ten Dollar Tribe!
You can order the book here, or here if you’re in the UK. My copy arrived on Monday and I am enjoying reading the different posts as well as several comments giving insights into how Five Minute Friday has developed over the years and the benefits people have experienced through being part of this community.