So. I got nominated for the Kitschies.
This is a big thing to me. Cos I never in a million years thought I would get nominated for the Kitschies. I think of it as an award for clever writers who went to university and stuff and don’t have to google what an adjective is when their agent says ‘take out the adjectives’1. But Girton, Merela and I are off to the Kitschies. This is very exciting.
But this got me thinking about how very lucky I have been to get to this position. I don’t just mean like, right now, I mean in life generally. I know part of it is that I chose to make it my narrative.
‘Sir, you are chronically ill.’
‘You mean I have to stay at home and write all the time instead of working? WIN!’
But I have been hugely lucky in so many ways; being ill, for instance, hasn’t bankrupted me and the NHS has been wonderful in their care. I was raised in house full of books and I never went hungry, or worried about being loved or having a roof over my head. And now I have my own family which is full of love and laughter and books. And I’m not actually poor, or worrying about where the next paycheck is coming from, which is a very new thing. An amazing thing, really.
Not everyone is that lucky though.
And the Kitschies comes with prizes.
Now if I was lucky enough to win, you can prize that Tentacle out of my cold dead hands because that fits our decorative aesthetic PERFECTLY. But the £500? I’d probably spend it on something frivolous like chocolate limes. And it would be money I wasn’t expecting, if that makes sense. Totally unexpected. Now, I understand it is a lot of money and not all writers are lucky enough to be in my position, I have been in a place where a windfall of £500 is a lifesaving amount of money and will make a huge difference – and this is the reality of a lot of writers. But for me, at this moment, I think I can make a promise; If I am lucky enough to win, I will ask the lovely Kitschies people to put that money into the hands of a foundation/organisation which helps aspiring writers be writerly, a chance to attend workshops or cons and stuff like that. Helpful stuff.
I don’t think I will win and I kind of think what I am saying could sound like I was trying to lever something with my ‘look-at-me-I’m-all-charitable-and-helpful-and-stuff’ schtick. So, if I don’t win (more likely) I’ll donate £100 to the same cause and MAYBE if you are part of a big publisher out there reading this you might want to meet my offer and see if we can do some good?
RJ. March 2018.
1 Only Joking.
I’m not actually joking