Running Out of Ink
/by Amy Kinmond/
Fresh out of Uni clutching my new English Degree in my hand, I stared at the world lost as I realised, ‘I am an adult now. What the hell am I going to do?’
With so few jobs going I, like most students, took the first job I could get – in a call centre.
During the coming months, with increasing writers block and the weight of everyday life bearing down on me, I felt I was losing my identity. A bit extreme I know, but I had always been a creative type and when you’re in Uni you dream about the future. I never realised how easily those dreams can be crushed once you find out what the real world is all about.
I needed to get creative again – I needed to do something. Writing was flowing, albeit merely a trickle, but it wasn’t enough. When I was in University I had been the Junior Editor of the New Writing Dundee anthology for two years and had thought I had found my calling. But once graduation came around I had to take the first job I could, as I had no funds to move to where my dream job may lie. Now, after working full time for over a year, I could afford to move but my previous editorial experience was no longer recent enough to get an internship. It was a Catch 22.
Later, when I was editing an old story to submit to an online publication, I got an idea. I realised how I could gain more editorial experience and get my creative spirit back – I could start up my own online publication.
At first I didn’t take the idea seriously, it was just a fun notion at the back of my mind. I would imagine what the website would look like and what kind of stories were on it, but in the same way as I imagined how I would spend my lottery winnings. However, when I mentioned it to a friend they convinced me I could do it – I had the necessary skills from previous experience and was lucky enough to have helpful contacts in both the virtual and the real world that could help get it off the ground.
So I set to it, rummaging the internet looking at similar websites; seeing how they were laid out, their target audience and their general impression. I brought someone in to design the website to my specifications and did some research to find a server host and deal on a domain.
It has been hard going, and as always problems arose on the way delaying progress. There were times I thought the site would never see the light of day, but now in the final stages of building the site, I can see my idea taking form. I have created an environment where writers can showcase their work. It may not be the only site of its kind, and it may be small to start with. It also doesn’t aim to create the kind of reading and writing community that ShortbreadStories does, but I still feel it will bring something to readers, who will hopefully look forward to a monthly publication bringing them a range of fresh stories, and to writers, who will have another place to potentially showcase their work for their Writing CV.
Will this method work at building my skills and experience? Will the online magazine be a hit or shoved to the back of the virtual rack? As we are still in prelaunch mode, there are many questions yet to answer, but I know this has already been an uplifting experience for me and no matter how it turns out I can still look back in years to come and say, “I did that.”
I would advise anyone stuck in a rut like I was that if you don’t have a shovel, it can sometimes be more fun and a better experience to make your own tools to get to where you want to be. As for the website – watch this space!
If you would like to submit a story for the first issue of ‘Running out of Ink’, please email your story of 2500 words or less to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you want to know more, feel free to send an email to email@example.com.