I am a writer, committed worrier and nostalgia obsessive with a fascination for all things historical. In 2018 I completed an MA in Creative Writing at Leicester University and I loved every minute of it. Since I completed my Masters I've been spending a lot of time working on my poetry. You can see a list of accepted poems on the right and please scroll down to see my books and Heritage funded writing projects...
I'm really enjoying this series of Leicester writers. There are so many more that I could include but I've restricted it to just one month's-worth. Here is my next visitor, a friend who also shares my passion for therapeutic writing. Today she is talking about the commercial side of the profession, so please give a warm welcome to Maxine Linnell:
Last week I was lying on a couch while a young
physiotherapist pressed on a tender part of my back.
‘You’re a writer!’ she said. ‘That’s wonderful. I’ve just
finished my first novel, would you like to read it?’
I don’t know what I muttered into the facehole. I think
self-preservation came into it. That particular spot is very sensitive.
A recent survey showed that more than 60% of the population
wanted to be a writer. Another survey showed that only a few writers earn above
the minimum wage. Nicky Morgan MP recently warned children not to go for a
career in the arts, as they’d regret it. Facebook is a great source of
Writing, or perhaps writing-related work, is now my main
source of income, after a lifetime of being a psychotherapist. If you’re after
money, I’d endorse Nicky Morgan’s warning. But I need to be a writer, live in
the writing world, talk writing, think writing, indulge my huge love of
everything writing-related. So I feel very fortunate to have six published
books, and as a result to work with writers as friends, and as an editor,
mentor, ‘critiquer’ and teacher - even though it’s an unreliable, low-paid,
hand-to-mouth income. I’m grateful to all the people who helped me get here,
and help me do it. I’m also grateful to the people who choose to work with me,
and love finding the gems in their writing.
‘Is it just luck?’ the physio asked me, shifting to another
No, it’s very hard work. It’s hard work writing and editing
your work till you think it’s going to die but instead it emerges crystal
clear. It’s hard work selling it, hard work pushing your skills to their limits
and using them, hard work giving time, energy and encouragement to others. And
I find it difficult to make time for my own writing in the middle of all this. I don’t think I’m alone in that? And I love libraries so much, I’m putting a lot of unpaid
time into keeping Rothley’s little library alive. And most of what I’m doing
towards that is - writing.
Maxine’s books are published by Five Leaves, A&C Black
and Real Reads.
Currently she has poems in The Book of Love and Loss, and the
Soundswrite anthology to be published in October.