Tomorrow, children, I shall tell you how to self-publish your pearls of wisdom and live happily ever after, but it's a big subject and today the sun is shining and there are many apples to be picked (about a ton so far as I can see) and fences to be painted (about 300 yards of them).
But first, while we are on the subject of the difficulty of getting your work published, allow me a brief rant.
Why do the Editors of prestigious daily newspapers continually publish such drivel in the Health and Beauty sections of the weekend supplements? On 12th. Sept. for example, the Sunday Telegraph had the following question on page 77 of their 'Stella' magazine.
"I had a facial recently and was told that I had a lot of water retention in my face. I had noticed that my face had been looking very puffy of late and my cheekbones seem to have become a lot less pronounced. Is there anything I can do to prevent it?"
The Nutritional Therapist, Melanie Brown, said:
"It might be that you are a bit dehydrated, which encourages water retention. Try drinking two litres of water a day and cut out caffeine, alcohol and salty processed foods"
Call me a pompous old silly-billy, but that is the most stupid answer I have heard for a long time. Naomi Campbell could have done better. Or Wayne Rooney.
Not only is it twaddle, its dangerous twaddle. The lady might for example be retaining water because she had the nephrotic syndrome (a form of kidney failure). Two litres of water a day might then push her into heart failure and if she kept it up without further medical advice, because the 'dehydration'(facial swelling) was getting more severe, she could die.
There are at least another 10 or so causes of facial swelling, most trivial, some severe. Ask any dermatologist.
I've written to Editors about similar loony advice on many occasions, asking for a correction, pointing out that I am a Professor of Dermatology, I've done research on that particular subject and I've written chapters on it for medical textbooks. Have I ever had a reply or even an acknowledgement? No.
I apologize if this sounds sexist, but even intelligent and educated women sometimes seem to become gullible fools whenever they are given advice about beauty products.
If I tell somebody that I've noticed that their petrol tank is overflowing and petrol is leaking out on the road, they're quite sensible. They'll switch the pump off. But if I tell them that I'm a Nutritional Therapist and therefore they should try putting in another two litres because their car needs more petrol, my invaluable advice will immediately be worth publishing, for a fee, in a major newspaper.
I enrolled for some private language tuition once, and the obese lady who was teaching me kept having to break off to go into her kitchen to fetch more drinking water. She said this was because, being divorced, she was trying to get back into shape. To help her to achieve this laudable goal she had been told by her 'personal fitness trainer' who visited her at home, that she must avoid salt and drink 8 pints of cold water every day. I explained to her that the total blood volume is about 8 pints, and in a cool climate with no vigorous exercise, you only need 2 or 3 pints of fluid daily (tea, coffee, fruit juice, whatever). Any extra and you just pee it out. Fat doesn't normally come out in urine.
So did she take my advice and stop trying to kill herself by over-hydration and hyponatraemia. No. She hadn't paid £50 an hour for it you see.