This Writing Life

Journo Mistakes
I think ‘journalist’ is spelldeded wrong?

Folks, for those of you haven’t heard, this week I started as a fulltime scribbler for The Observer.

Spell Check don’t fail me now!

Anyway, I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was in West Gladstone primary school when my teacher, Mrs. Norris, said:

“Greg, maths will frustrate you for the rest of your life. However, you’ve been blessed with a wonderful sense of humour, a vivid imagination and you write like you talk, far too much. But, you’re a natural story teller, and I think one day you’ll find a way to make a living doing just that.”

She’s probably dusting off that Great Blackboard in the Sky now, and while I’ve forgotten nearly everything she tried to teach me about grammar, I’ll always remember her kind and encouraging words.

And, since then, I’ve continued to dabble with writing. My faithful typewriter was eventually replaced by a long line of much less reliable word processors, and writing programmes, which I used to compose letters, novels, biographies, short stories and poems so bad that I live in constant terror of someone finding them buried deep in my hard drive.

I started writing these columns back in 2007 when the then editor, Matt Ovenden, risked giving me a few inches of spare space on the Editorial page. I kept sending them in and, happily, they kept printing them.

Long Suffering Wife tolerated my hobby, but I suspect she secretly wished I was as passionate about trading shares, restoring furniture, bricklaying or anything that would actually make a couple of bucks. Because, a parking meter in a one-horse town would rake in more cash each year than most writers; and with a lot less effort.

But now my hobby has turned into a fulltime job, and where it will lead in the long run, I have no idea. Still, I got this far by simply turning up and ‘winging it’, so why stop now?

I’m sure things will be fine as long as I keep hammering out words, and spelling names correctly. Besides, it’s much more fun than crunching numbers.


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