This is the second part of a two-part interview. Read Part I here.
Jacki Donnellan won our 2013 Flashversary contest. I’m so pleased to share with you now the second part of her interview (read Part I here). Read her winning story (along with the other Flashversary winning stories) here!
Describe for us your journey as a writer. As I young child I had very few friends and was bullied at school, so writing was, for me, a readily available escape into another world. I’d written three or four “novels” by the time I was twelve. They were (really!) not great works of literature, but with hindsight I realize they were marvelous, because they were stories and people that I had been utterly unafraid to sit down and create from nothing, with a pen.
Once I became a teenager I no longer wrote, except at school. I actually have no idea what made me then decide, in my mid-forties, that perhaps I should sit down and try writing a story. But when I did, it felt a bit like I was meeting the real, grown-up me for the very first time.
Describe your current writing life. I prefer to write when everyone’s out and no-one’s watching, and I don’t belong to a writing group-unless you count Flash! Friday, of course!
What would you say to someone behind you on the journey? Where should they begin? Starting from scratch as I did, I learnt so much about writing short fiction just by reading short fiction written by others. It didn’t even cost me anything- there is a wealth of free short fiction available online, in free online magazines and anthologies, or on people’s blogs. I read a lot of online articles about writing, too, and decided I would invest in a subscription to a writing magazine.
I also began to use Twitter, where I discovered so many useful sites (Flash! Friday chief among them!) And it’s a great way of connecting with lots of different and inspirational writers, of all stages.
Describe your goals as a writer. My biggest goal for now is just to keep going! Not a day goes by when I’m sure that I probably won’t write anything worth reading ever again. I hope to persevere nonetheless: to write, to learn, to enjoy, and to keep being brave enough to be read. I find that the braver I am making myself be, the easier it’s becoming to scoop up all those chattering little demons of self-doubt, and just bring them along, for the ride.
Thank you, Jacki, for letting us get to know you a bit through these interviews. Congratulations again on your #Flashversary win. May you have a spectacular 2014, and may all your writing dreams come true!! Much love from Rebekah & the Flash! Friday family.