Needless to say I didn't get any reply at all from the language magazine. I'm now definitely at the stage of giving up - not because I have put a vast amount of effort into the whole thing but because I'm not convinced I really want to write in the disciplined sort of way that is required to earn money from doing so. Have suddenly realised that sitting down and dashing off a few thoughts off the top of my head for fun will not do it! So -- maybe the answer is to just do that - for free - and see where that takes me? I think I'll definitely have a go at writing a bit about Galicia for http://www.hubpages.com/ and see where that get's me. O.K so I'm not going to be writing the sort of stuff which will go 'viral' but maybe I'll get a few readers and also find out whether I really can write and what about.
The other Eureka moment I've had was when it hit me why I was finding it so difficult having nothing to do - or rather nothing that I must do. Not only have I been a single parent in full-time work since my younger son was four I've also been a student for most of that time. I started a Master's degree in Education with the Open University whilst working in Edinburgh (commuting twice a week from Glasgow) but both before and since then have done all sorts of other assessed courses, ranging from the OU's science foundation course to a module in overseas development. How did I manage to do all this when now with all this spare time I can't even get down to my Spanish in a systematic way? It must all come down to lack of structure. The OU did at least have deadlines for assignments which kept me at it - particularly when I was paying my own way. Guess I should give myself one last chance over the next month or so to see whether I am capable of a bit more self-discipline and, if not, sign up for a course.
On the positive side though, there has been some progress with the voluntary work. Had a meeting with the staff member from the Prince's Trust (http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/) and, all being well, should be able to get involved both in delivering their Enterprise programme (for young people aged 18 - 30 not in employment, education or training, especially those from disadvantaged groups) and in mentoring those who decide to take this forward by setting up their own businesses. Have also heard back from the local authority re a possible vacancy for a school governor quite nearby. Perhaps I shall end up being so busy that I'll be able to get down to my Spanish and some writing as well!