Cheque Mate

The cheque for my feature in August’s edition of The Dalesman magazine arrived in yesterday’s post. This promissory note almost inadvertently ended up in my garbage bin within its discarded envelope which, unbeknown to me, housed the slip alongside an already removed copy of the aforementioned publication.

Thinking the mail delivery solely contained a gratis copy of the magazine incorporating my four page article, I’d earlier thrown the envelope to one side ready for binning. An action undertaken while blissfully unaware of the enclosed remittance and £100 cheque’s existence.

Thankfully several hours later, prior to consigning it to the garbage, I double checked there was nothing else inside the brown paper package, which revealed receipt of this payment.

After a particularly tough day in my carer’s role, including the usual triggers to volume increases in my ‘indoor voice’, witnessing this first ever payment for any intellectual property of mine provided me with a much welcomed spirit lift.

Not from the perspective that I desperately need the financial boost of a hundred quid (which I don’t). Moreover, in my mind, this slip of paper now affords me the privilege of being able to label myself as a paid writer.

This inanimate item providing proof that, at last, someone thought my literary output worthy of payment. As far as GJ Strachan’s concerned, a notable landmark in my desperate pursuit for acceptance in the penmanship field…… Irrespective of how small the step.

Sure, it’s a long long way from a major book deal, an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, or being so famous I can walk my swans within Leeds’ city walls (or whatever it is you’re allowed to do if made freeman of the city). However, everyone’s got to start somewhere – And as I don’t own any swans anyhow, I’m happy to muddle on with the current slow organic profile growth approach.

Footnote – Actually, I think it’s livestock you’re allowed to walk unhindered through the streets of cities in which your bestowed the honorary title of Freeman. Although, similar to swans, I don’t own livestock so am likewise unlikely to take advantage of that opportunity should it ever arise.

People who follow me on social media may wonder how this is my first payday for writing. After all, they may posit, I’ve self-published in excess of 50 books containing six years worth of my blogs – Their presence frequently highlighted on my Facebook timeline.

A conundrum to which there’s a very simple answer – Deeming the cost as too prohibitive for your everyday bookworm, I don’t advertise the links to procure the items …… After all, no one is going to pay in excess of £20 for a tome written by me.

I purchase myself a copy of each book (which I exhibit of social media feeds) from a mixture of hubris, posterity and wanting to hand them down as a legacy to my progeny.

That being said, I’m not ruling out making parts, or all, of these narratives available to a wider audience in the future. A change of direction which’ll only take place, though, if I can secure the backing of a publisher who’d offer the reader a more realistic product price.

The books I self-publish are genuine and contain over 2,000 of my blogs. However, I’m loathed at this juncture to promote the path to punters for securing a copy.

A strategy underpinned by the cost shown on the publisher’s website not even giving me a cut of the profits. Meaning the already extortionate price would have to rise even further for GJ Strachan to get a slice of that monetary pie…… Not an option I’m prepared to countenance, unless somebody desperately wants to overpay me for my art.

To be honest, I’ve not even made up my mind yet if I’ll cash the aforementioned cheque. I might have just frame it to hang on my office wall – A daily visual reminder of my first literary payday.

This promissory note signifying one small step for a writer; one giant leap for my self-confidence.

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