I’ve been an impoverished magazine journalist for the best part of a decade. Despite working for a variety of magazines, the most valuable lesson I ever learned about writing actually came from my beloved grandmother Verily Anderson. Not the sprinter, the other granny, whose name I have tattooed across my back to remind me to be more badass. (It’s freaking huge, I know. It wasn’t supposed to be that big, but a well-tattooed gentleman friend influenced me somewhat on ink day).
Verily means truly. Verily truly was the distilled essence of badass. In the 1950s she’d waltz into any public bar and order a pint of ale long before it was considered socially acceptable for women to drink alone. She also had five kids, travelled the world aged 85 with her youngest granddaughter (me) and wrote books for a living. She finished her last book the day before she died aged 95.
The only literary advice she ever gave me was ‘never start anything with I’ as apparently it sets a self-indulgent tone. Oops. Oh well, maybe it’s okay to be a little bit self-indulgent every once in a while. Considering Granny Verily’s other stock saying was, ‘When things get bad, go to the pub. When things get really bad, throw a party’ I don’t think she’d have disapproved of the occasional moment of self-indulgence all that much.
So to that end, I’m going to unashamedly boast about my latest article in Women’s Running magazine. You’d think I’d get used to seeing my name in print, but I still get completely overexcited on press day. It’s a fantastic feeling to see my words on a big shiny page (minus all the fucks. Magazine editors always edit out the F word if you try and sneak it in) and know that at least a couple of people in the world will read it.
This month feels exceptionally exciting because, although I was on staff at Women’s Running for nearly three years, this is my first published article since becoming a FREELANCE JOURNALIST (sorry for shouting but it’s well grown up and scary) so it feels like a big deal.
My latest article is also about a very newsworthy subject, vegetarian running! Everyone should go veggie. Not because I give a shit about the baby animals or environmental impact (although I really do) but because it would make eating out and dinner parties much easier for those of us that choose to eschew animalia. I always feel like such a loser in restaurants when I have to ask if there’s anything on the menu without a mum or a face. Plus my brother-in-law Jay Scrimshaw is a head chef who specialises in offal, which sucks balls as I never get to taste his cooking. Christmas day is a logistical nightmare. If only they all liked quinoa and alfalfa sprouts as much as I do.
It’s also nice to have it in print that being a vegetarian will have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on your ability to run a marathon. True story. But I won’t ruin the plot, go and buy the sexy running mag now so they commission me to write loads more, sales pitch over. Who fancies a quick pint of ale?