A "good on paper" writer is someone who can put beautifully crafted prose on a page, right? Wrong.
I am not (yet) a "good on paper" writer--I'm talking about the bane of all emerging writers: the author CV. Woebegone is the writer who has nothing, or nearly nothing, to sell herself with. As I'm putting together query letters right now it's near the top of my list to fix this sorry situation, stat!
For years I've struggled with even where to start. Firstly, I HATE short stories. I hate reading them and I loath trying to write them. I detest investing in characters or a voice only to find that it's all over and done with in a few thousand words. (Which is also why I hate lengthy or--even worse--MULTIPLE prologues. Reinvesting in a story/new character drives me bonkers as I'm a far from patient girl.) I have written only one short story that I am pleased with, but judges continually overlook it so I guess my lack of enthusiasm for the genre (?) shows.
So that's short story competitions and anthologies out.
Then there's freelance journalism. I've tried that too but generating exciting topics and pitching them at a jaded editor is not my idea of an afternoon of fun. I also go off on tangents when I try to write features, or put too much of myself in (hallelujah for blogging, cos it's all ME ME ME!) and newspapers don't like that.
I did get a letter to the editor published in the Age once. Did I milk that! "Ooh yes darlings, published in the Age..."
I'm certainly NOT a poet, either. I've read about three poems in my life and they make me roll my eyes. Or bawl. And poets are so miserly with words. Say it with sentences, people!
I was beginning to think that I was going to have nada to augment my CV with until my YA teacher mentioned that Viewpoint magazine is always looking for YA reviewers, and I realised that hey, I do that already! And what do you know, I have four reviews coming next month, in three different magazines, one of which I actually get PAID for. Sweet Jesus I've hit the jackpot! How swanky will that look on my CV?
How about you--is your CV brimming with credentials, or frustratingly bare? And if it is brimming, how did you get started?