For the last three years I have been studying English literature with the OU and I love it. My student life actually started with them in 2008 when I completed a few science courses, eventually receiving certificates in both Natural and Contemporary Sciences. But I always knew my heart wanted to study books. It can be quite lonely at times; no daily classes or lectures, no going for a sly pint after with your fellow students , just endless days and nights of finding the motivation to keep going, finish coursework and sigh with relief when you complete an assessment before deadline. Balancing this with a job, house and 3 kids is probably the hardest, yet most rewarding part. I get to stand and say I did this, and once I complete my degree I will know that I couldn’t have worked harder to achieve that reward.
This year, as well as studying creative writing, I will also be diving into the world of Children’s Literature. Now, anyone that knows me, knows how much I love this genre. Even today some of my favourite and most beloved books are ones I read as a child. Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair opened my innocent young eyes to new worlds, EB White’s Charlottes Web taught me about love and loss and Roald Dahl taught me how to laugh until my belly ached. My love for this genre has continued through adulthood, and I’m not ashamed to say I was one of the first in the queue when the new Harry Potter books were being released. These are books that started me on my love affair with words and for that I will be eternally grateful. Even today, I still have a set of 10 hard back bound books my grandfather bought me when I was around 8 years old. I read every word of every page, soaking in stories like Little Women, Treasure Island and the Secret Garden. I used my bookmark, didn’t fold the pages, and even to this day the books still look brand new. They currently sit pride of place on my bookcase tempting me everyday to read them again. So I am really excited to get the chance to read these stories through different eyes and relive some memories from 30 years ago. x

For a while now i have been listening to the voices of a little girl that is demanding more of my attention. She smiles, but there seems to be a darkness behind her eyes. Her long hair doesn’t always look clean or brushed and i wish i could tell her that i am here to look after her, that everything will be ok. Silly i know as she is only alive in my imagination. I’m not quite sure yet where she is going to feature in my story but i can’t shake the feeling that her presence is, somehow, necessary. This little girl has been speaking to me all day, and ironically she is the one now trying to comfort me. I worry about writing how i feel, my most inner thoughts and feelings, but she is trying to reassure me, this is normal and that all writers accept this. But i’m not sure how much i can? These belong to me….or do they? Are the best writers the one’s that give a part of their soul with each line they write?

I remember reading once, i honestly can’t remember who said this, that characters become a part of you. You cry when your character cries and you celebrate in their achievements, like they are a part of your own family; your children. So does that mean your characters in part, become you? I look at my kids and i do recognise some of me in them; the colour of their eyes, their hair, their stubbornness. But i also understand they are their own person. They have their own personality, attitudes, loves and their paths can only be carved by them. Should characters though be afforded the same freedom , or should i know where they are heading and direct them accordingly? When writing a story, does your character direct this or does the writer?

These are all questions that i imagine will be answered with time and experience. This really feels like such a fresh and exciting time for me and as a new writer (wow, i said it) i am questioning more and enjoying more. It’s only been a few days but already i look forward to sitting, with my cuppa, my time, and seeing where the moment takes me. Now to boil the kettle again…until next time x

I am not a writer. I sometimes have to remind myself that, really, i am not a writer. I don’t sit for hours, tied to a desk, desperately trying to tell a story that has to be written. I have never worried and procrastinated over every word, anxious of potential criticism or praise. That, to me, is a writer; a far off dream that always seems to be out of my reach. So, i sometimes wonder what does that make me? My head does swirl with ideas from different lands to exotic lives. Whilst walking my kids to school, i get visions of places and people and their wonderful lives. Whilst doing my shopping i see normal people and their stories that scream at me to be told. Their colours, smells, even their smiles, triggering an idea. I can’t remember the last time that i walked out of my house and didn’t have to frantically type in my phone as another idea stops me in my tracks; ‘live my life, give me a life’. However, i have never done anything with these notes and ideas, probably due to the mentioned potential criticism. But these voices are becoming too loud and are no longer letting me ignore them. They even waken me through the night, laughing at their own power. So starting today, i have decided that the voices win and that’s exactly what i am going to do; i am going to give them a real voice and let their stories be heard. I am going to attempt to bring that far off goal a little closer; to be a writer.

Now, i already lead quite a frantic life so i am expecting some obstacles in my way. I am a single mum of three kids, working, and studying English Literature; all of which demand my full attention. Given a choice between a night on the town or a hot chocolate and a good book, well, lets just say i will be choosing the option that doesn’t require high heels and make up. I really do love a simple life, preferring my drama in my readings rather than my living room. However, that does not mean that i don’t have a story to tell. Whether it will be good though, well, that’s another matter.

To be honest, i’m not really sure where to start. My ideas could simply be a word, a scene, or the creation of an, as yet, unnamed protagonist. If i was to chose a genre based on the books i read the most, i would happily write stories based on sci-fi and fantasy. Maybe i have too much real life already and need this escape.But i am not going to place any restrictions on myself. I am hoping that by writing, even a few words everyday, my confidence will grow and so will my stories and characters. 

Well, that’s that for today. Now to actually keep the momentum going.
So, at the moment i may not be a writer but, one day, who know’s?