The Life Of A Writer - Never A Dull Moment!

Written By: Amanda Thomas (My Writer Story)

I have always been a writer.  I met a school friend recently that I had not seen for many years and she reminded me that even at school I was always at the back of the class scribbling my stories on any available surface!  I do remember that I spent a lot of time daydreaming and was not the most successful of students, except in English where I was spurred on by an early ten out of ten that I got for an essay entitled Jealousy -I was a very sensitive young girl!

I have always been interested in writing of all sorts and in those great punctuation and grammar free headlines that appear in newspapers, I love them.  Here are some of my favourites. 
  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
  • Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
  • Eye Drops off Shelf
  • Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim
  • Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
  • Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
  • New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
  • Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Note-These are published headlines.

And my all time favourite which read that Desmond Tutu had arrived at Heathrow to be met by a small but enthusiastic crow. (The ‘d’ had been left off crowd!)

I have lived abroad for many years and while I was in the Middle East for twelve years I didn't do much writing but instead spent my time travelling and storing up inspiration for later!

My first success came with a short story that I wrote for People’s Friend – The Curlew, in 1997.  That was a good starting point for me although the magazine, that is aimed at genteel ladies was very strict in that no mention at all could be made of the lavatory.  One character that I wrote about having arrived from a long journey asked to be shown to the bathroom that was replaced by her wishing to be shown to her room!   I learned fast.

I then spent a while working in London which was rich pickings for observing human nature and eventually I gave up the work there to write full time.  It took a while to get going but I got there eventually and got some really interesting jobs.  One took me to a Longevity centre in Florida and another to Warsaw and Katowice in Poland.  Because of my medical background I found myself in demand for medical publications and became the health editor for the Royal Mails in house magazine and later performed a similar function for the UK Police Force’s in house publication. 

It was not all plain sailing and there were periods where if I had not have my other half to fall back on, the coffers would have been bare, but work gradually built up and I got a couple of books to write for one client that helped oil the wheels.   I was also very active on radio and still am a regular guest speaker on the Jeremy Vine show where I have spoken on such varied topics as David Cameron’s visit to the Middle East to the wrongs and rights of filling paddling pools during a hose pipe ban!    

I also became a bit of a sought after writer for website content and articles for websites and I have contributed to many and various websites with pearls of wisdom on diverse topics such as

      • planning your own funeral 
      • various health sites
      • working parents 
      • changing your name by deed poll     
      • various types of insurance
      • a mobile disco
I have also carved out a bit of a niche for myself in writing about people’s life stories, especially those who have had it tough.  My first client of this type was PJ an ex gangster and writing for him was certainly an eye opener.  Since then there are have been more clients who have suffered awful abuse in childhood and one very memorable client who had been abused when he was in borstal.  The fact that he was told that as he was ‘ the dregs of society’ no one would miss him so if he complained he would just be killed, chilled me then as it does now.   His case and that of the other boys who were abused is currently back in court and I am pleased to have been part of getting at least one of the former inmates story’s out there. 

My work took me to America again last year as I went to cover the gallery opening of artist Kris Kuksi.  My work is nothing if not varied!   I have had a client with a brain tumour and an Asian man whose book was entitled ‘The Mother in Law wore Prada!” A title like that tells its own story I think! 

People often ask me what I think about having a career as a writer.  In my case it was something that I had to do, I didn't really have any choice and it has been hard going at times but very rewarding and exciting at other times.    If you need to write then you need to write, just like if you need to paint, I suppose you have to pick up a paintbrush. I have long since given up any hope of writing my own book, the publishing market is a difficult one and besides which I simply don't have the time!   And for anyone that is thinking of taking up a career as a writer I would say go for it and don't give up if at first things seem slow, be prepared to start small and do the menial jobs and work up from there.

Author Bio-

I am Amanda Thomas and I live in PuducherryI have had a fruitful, evergreen experience- full journey of life in freelance writing. A philosopher- writer, I never saw myself pity and flew the nest to try living with words. My favourite destinations have been   Shimla, dehradoon, Cochin, vizag, arunachal, and Sikkim. All igniting the flames with different culture; sharing equality in diversity. An insightful out look with a twist of taste. A lover of nature, Landscapes, Fashion and the use of imagination. A gifted family. I have worked as an artist. I learnt the language Bengali so as to read and understand Tagore’s in original.

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