Our chat with Lou…
I can’t remember deciding to be a writer, I just remember always wanting to be a writer! Writing stories is something I’ve always done, I think because I like reading so much, and I started reading at a very early age, so creating stories became a natural part of that. Before I could write, I dictated them to my mum!
It took me fifteen years of serious writing and submitting to finally become published, and there were moments when I thought, ‘Why am I wasting my life on this?’ After one of these episodes, I made a vow to myself that I would not give up. I would make all that time spent worthwhile, somehow! This really focused me as I now felt I owed it to myself to succeed.
At the end of a recent school visit, two promising young writers came up and said I’d really inspired them, which was heart-warming. Someone taking an interest in your writing when you are young is hugely encouraging for the long journey ahead. My grandmother always loved to hear my writing.
Don’t give up, but also don’t put all your eggs in one basket (cliché alert!). Try writing in different genres, or for different ages. You might surprise yourself and find success in a field you hadn’t imagined – in my case, my debut was a picture book.
I run a critique service, do some arts and crafts teaching and an increasing number of school visits. Recently I realised that actual writing was being squeezed into the gaps between everything else, so I have now made it the first thing I do every morning. It’s a great incentive to get up and the dog and cat usually sit with me and add their supportive vibes!