About Me

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I've written stories ever since I could write, but somewhere along the way I seem to have lost the joy and natural desire to write for me. Churning out stories every other week for my degree course, and forcing non-existent brilliance out of myself has drained my natural spirit. So, I have created myself a blog in an attempt to find a way back to what made me fall in love with writing in the first place. Only you and I will discover if I fail or succeed...

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

In Which I Get My Work Out There

Before I went to Australia I suggested that I write an article about my experience for online magazine blog Her Uni upon my return. Two weeks ago I finally got off my derriere and wrote the article.[1] I was proud of myself for ‘accomplishing’ for five minutes and then settled down to ignoring my lengthy writing To-Do List.[2] Lo and behold, mere hours later I get an e-mail and, bish, bash, bosh, I’m suddenly managing editor of a travel blog project. So down to work I buckle.

Then, last week amid organising my project I get a call. They are trying to work with The Independent and asked me and four others to submit an article. The lowly unemployed MA graduate is finally needed – to write for the postgraduate section. Two hours, many fluxuated heartbeats and several hurried phone calls to fellow graduates later and I finish my article. Then the wait ensues.

Mid-way through work experience I discover a text from the boyfriend: “you didn’t tell me the independent published your story!” Hardly daring to open my e-mails I check to see if it is true.[3] It is! I am published (online) in a national newspaper![4] I whiz the link to everyone in the office and received many congratulations, grin beaming.

So, it goes to show, perseverance is promising and patience is pertinent![5]

Until next time. See ya xo

[1] Gap Travels – How to Prepare.
[2] Starting with ‘write’, something that rarely seems to get checked off, this excluded.
[3] The boyfriend is not one for cruel jokes, but I wanted to see for myself.
[4] Unemployed Graduates Should Keep Busy To Improve Job Prospects.
[5] Please excuse the prominent ‘p’s.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

In Which I Network ... Finally

Lately I’ve decided to buck up and go to publishing networking events. I know everyone says it’s the best way to get in, but I was afraid of spending the whole evening standing like a lemon in the middle of the room alone. Now, I have a networking buddy I’m a little less daunted by the idea.[1] I’d been spending the past week readying myself for a career speed dating evening, BookMachine publishing event and alternative graduation party.[2] Then, last week I was sprung with an invitation at work experience.[3]

They sponsored Undiscovered Voices, a collection of novel beginnings written by unagented and unpublished authors and illustrators and published by the SCBWI.[4] And they had 92 agents and publishers coming along to celebrate the collection and snap up the authors. The room was jam packed with strangers’ faces, so I clung to my colleagues’ sides like a toddler about to enter the playground for the first time.

An hour in, one of them came up and asked who I’d been talking to, which was when I decided I had to up my game.[5] I strode to the food table and asked two colleagues to introduce me to the people to which they were talking. A surprise attack of the “what advice would you give someone trying to get in” and I’d been introduced to another individual who introduced me to another.[6]

An hour and a half and a couple e-mail address requests later I declared my first networking event a success! The authors had a pretty good go at it too, especially as two have already been signed by agents.

Until next time. Ttfn xx


[1] Plus, I can’t chicken out if I know someone’s relying on me.
[2] Yes, those are things! See http://www.thesyp.org and http://www.bookmachine.org for details.
[3] See – it’s already worked; work experience equals more networking.
[4] The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
[5] And that I was being a wimp.
[6] If you are reading; apologies for the attack.

Monday, 9 January 2012

In Which I Go Away To Find Myself

It’s been a while since I last wrote on here, but that’s what this post is about. The reason for my absence is that I’ve been in Australia! As the end of my course approached I realised that I would soon have to face the ‘real world’ and find a job.[1] So, to prolong the inevitable I decided I would take a gap-month.[2] Thanks to my handy hording of magazines and information ‘that-could-possibly-be-useful-sometime-in-the-future’ I discovered a project in Queensland where I could look after wallabies. [3] So, thanks to my chilhood savings account, very sensibly started by my mother as soon as each of her children were born, I secured my place, searched out equipment and booked flights. The Creative Writing student would be travelling to the other side of the world to clean animal pens and feed foreign creatures.

Now, this blog is about writing, so I’ll get to that shortly. Australia has varied countryside, but my placement was in the bush. Electricity provided by large generators and the closest town had a total of four streets. I grew up visiting my grandmother in the Devon countryside, but this was truly rural. And, most importantly, technology-free.[4] What could I do in my spare time? There was no Gossip Girl or One Tree Hill. No Facebook! I brought some books with me, but the past four years of my life have seen me read very few novels other than those prescribed by my course. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) I found myself looking forward to the hot afternoons alone so I could continue reading my books. I even borrowed some books from the family and shot through those. I loved them so much I’m currently reading the third in the series, which was released while I was away, on my Kindle.[5]

While I was reading my subconscious was working away and engaging in ‘creative mode’ once again. Ideas started forming and plots emerged. I began writing again. Not because I felt I had to, but because I wanted to. I found the ultimate removal of distractions let me start to think again. And I realised the reason I started writing in the first place. I want my writing touch people the way novels touch me. If I stop letting myself become involved in others’ work, I forget what it feels like. So now that I’m back I will try to turn off the TV once in a while, or unplug the internet. Or, like I’m doing right now, work on a library computer without my music, documents and personal distractions.

Until next time. G’day mate and goodbye xx



[1] I’m facing it now and, trust me, it’s not pretty.
[2] Gap-month, noun: similar to the gap-year taken by young people pre- or post-degree, but lasting, as the phrase suggests, for a month.
[3] I have several hoards of this nature: further education (if I ever become crazy enough to go back), career (mainly Cosmo cut outs for work wardrobes and very old writing competitions), life (recipes and wedding articles left over from 2010’s duties as maid of honour), and of course travel (both holiday destinations and studenty tours). The only problem is I always forget when I have information so inevitably end up Googling it anyway...
[4] To me, at least – the family that ran the project had internet for the office, TV and essential kitchen items e.g. microwave, but they were generally (apart from the microwave) personal items. Also, I had a Nokia 3310 to assure loved ones I was okay, but that practically counts as negative technology.
[5] If you’re interested, the series starts with Tiger’s Curse by Coleen Houck. Sequels are Tiger’s Quest and Tiger’s Voyage. The fourth in the series is yet to be released.