Erin Green Author - blog
As an aspiring author you don't look much beyond the dream of one day being published. You hanker for that almighty 'yes' from an editor or agent, yet rarely question the world you're entering. It comes as a great surprise to encounter the other elements of a published author's life. There's the in-person library talks, the on-going social media presence, the on-line book groups discussions, the competition giveaways, the advice requests, the mentoring queries and the flow of 'Thank you' messages from grateful readers which fills your week; each provides an interesting and pleasurable aspects outside of writing your book.
Last week, I experienced the ultimate thrill!
As a youngster, I wasn't encouraged to pursuit higher education post 18; my parents were pretty old-school in believing that I needed a full-time job before 'life' followed a set path. At the time I knew no different, so trusted the guidance I had. By the time I hit my twenties, I actually resented that guidance. I may have collected average grades throughout school, but I was nobody's fool! The education system appeared to be behind me, the chance of university and qualifications felt like a missed opportunity, and yet I yearned to learn more. It didn't help that my sibling attended uni for a short time before being kicked out for spending all his time in Pizza Hut!!!
So imagine my delight on discovering The Open University! Boy oh boy, how life changed from that moment. I was able to study two degrees: psychology and English literature before completing teacher training. It wasn't an easy route, but a necessary one for me. Whilst focusing on my OU studies and securing the 'day job', I spent my free time working on the 'dream job'. It'll come as no surprise, that as part of my English Literature degree, I was eager to study the OU's two creative writing courses. I learnt so much about the basic 'tool kit' and creative foundation necessary that I adopted some practises as my own. That was back in 2008 and 2009!
Last week, some 12 years after studying their two creative writing courses, the OU interviewed myself and Shereen Malherbe, a fellow author and OU student, to create a study resource for inclusion as course material for their current Creative Writing course. OMG! This interviewed topped every other event I have undertaken as an author. I was literally blown away to be given the opportunity to share my experiences, publishing route and study journey with other OU students and aspiring authors.
It's quite amazing to think I have literally gone full-circle, 'day job' and 'dream job' thanks to The Open University.