Like most writers, I love what I do. I love the creative process, the research, the meeting and dealing with various people. If I didn’t enjoy it so much, I’d do something else. Over the past decade or so I have been moderately successful in terms of my output and published material, having contributed both fiction and non-fiction to over forty publications worldwide. However, my problem was that I didn’t make enough money from writing to actually support myself. This led to me taking a succession of manual jobs I didn’t really like, which I endured just to enable myself to make ends meet. I was a factory worker, a barman, and later an English teacher in China. All the time I dreamed of being a professional writer. I looked at writing as more of a hobby. A hobby which, if I was lucky, sometimes allowed me the opportunity to supplement my income.
Some time ago I realized the importance of building a platform on which to market my work, and began using various social media. I ‘friended’ other writers and industry workers on MySpace, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, and started a Word Press blog. Maintaining all these things to any degree, as well as writing, researching, pitching to editors, and actually working, is very time-consuming. Many times I questioned whether my time and effort could be better spent elsewhere.
All that changed last December when, out of the blue, I received an email via Facebook from the deputy editor of one of the biggest magazines in Europe. There was an opening in the editorial department, and I was invited to apply for the post. Apparently the deputy editor, who I had ‘friended’ some time previously, had been reading and enjoying my posts and status updates for some time. He liked my tone, attitude, and word usage. Needless to say I dropped everything and head to London, where I now reside. Finally, after years of banging my head against brick walls, my dream has become reality. I am a professional writer. And it’s mainly due to Facebook! Therefore, my advice to writers everywhere is stick at it, build that platform, sell yourself, BE yourself. Never give up. Eventually, opportunity will come knocking. Or emailing.
C.M. Saunders began writing in 1997. His early fiction appearing in several small-press titles and anthologies. Following the publication of his first book, Into the Dragon’s Lair