I’m a freelance writer and I live somewhere deep in the heart of Yorkshire with my wife and two children.
My wife and I also own and run a 50’s style cafe in our small village, and I have just recently ‘come out’ to all my friends and family as a lover of country music; please don’t judge me.
When I was a kid, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: I wanted to write for Viz. I also wanted to invent an invisibility potion so that I could spy on Bendy Wendy, but that didn’t work out.
I started my writing career full of hope and enthusiasm, but the only job I could get after I left school was on the night shift of a Swiss roll factory, where the motto was; roll one, eat one.
As I stuffed Swiss rolls into my face at 4am, it dawned on me that earning a living as a writer was going to be a rocky road, which by the way, is also the name of a chocolate snack; there’s a theme here.
Then I had a brilliant idea, an idea that ended up getting me the sack, more of that in a future blog post I think, but on the upside, I walked straight into another job… at a doughnut factory.
Throughout all this time I had been posting ideas to Viz, all of which were rejected, so I went to university. After graduation, I landed a job working for Granada Media in London as an online news editor. I was still sending ideas to Viz. They were still rejecting them. I was still eating Swiss rolls.
Here’s one of the many rejections I received.
Luckily, a job came up at Yorkshire Television, so I relocated back home where I met my wife and we started a family. One boy, one girl. I’m quick like that. I started picking up freelance contracts and ended up doing the kind of work I had always wanted to do, then my wife dropped a bombshell.
A shop unit had come up for lease next door to our child’s primary school. She wanted to pack in her mundane office job and open up a vintage cafe, so that she could spend more time with the kids. It was the height of the recession, and to offset the risk, she asked me to ‘take one for the team’ and get a mundane office job. Apparently, we were playing mundane office job roulette.
With a heavy heart I took the mundane office job, and three months later I got my first acceptance letter from Viz. A seed I had planted some twenty years earlier had blossomed just when I needed it, and this to me is what freelance writing is all about: years of crap followed by wondering if they’ve sent the acceptance letter to the wrong house.
Here’s the piece that finally made the grade.
The cafe is now supporting itself, and we sell everything but Swiss rolls. I have packed in the mundane job, I am back freelancing and I’m looking forward to Viz publishing my next piece in 2035.