Having been basically crap with writing regularly in this blog I thought I would take up the challenge of www.writesofluid.com’s blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of June! A big challenge when I can barely write one blog per month at the moment.
So the challenge for the 1st June 2013 is “How I got into writing”
I have written for as long as I can remember. English was my favourite subject at school. I remember a teacher telling me that I wrote too much and she couldn’t keep giving me extra exercise books. Then an excellent teacher called Mrs Elliot was so inspiring and encouraged me to write as much as I could. I remember wanting to be a journalist when I was fourteen, but then changing my mind and wanting to be a teacher as my work experience had been in a school. I ended up doing neither.
As a teenager I had many penfriends. I used to spend most evening writing to these penfriends from all around the world. I kid you not when I tell you that at one point I had approximately thirty five penpals. I would spend all my hard earned wages from my paper round on stamps and writing paper.
One penfriend in Australia I wrote to every day. Thank goodness for her as receiving her letters and writing to her was such a godsend. We also used to write stories on A4 sheets of paper and post them. So she would start a story, write a few lines and then post it to me. I would then write a few lines and send it back etc etc. It was great fun, although when those stories got long the postage was immense.
I kept diaries throughout my teen years which I still have to this day, although I tend to avoid reading them as part of me wants to forget how sad I was. I will go back and read them properly one day as I do want to write either a theatre play, or a radio play about growing up in the late 80s/90s.
I stopped writing as much in my twenties as I was busy raising small children, although I carried on reading lots. Thinking on, reading and writing are great escapes from the real word aren’t they? That’s probably why I struggle sometimes and procrastinate when I should be typing away, it’s easier to be creative when you are wanting to escape from reality.
In my early thirties I spent a number of years studying for a Higher National Diploma, then onto an undergraduate degree so I was writing essays every other week. Writing for leisure took a backstep.
The writing commenced again when I changed jobs, from a boring council finance job into a position at a university in the media and journalism department. Things do happen for a reason, and I immediately began to write again. Articles for a woman’s online magazine, match reports for my son’s sports team and this blog. Nowadays, I am a theatre reviewer too so I get the best of both worlds, seeing amazing live stage shows for free and getting to write about them afterwards.
But, something has always been there at the back of my mind that I wanted to write fiction. Create my own characters, my own plots and my own world for these characters to live in. I always fancied the idea of writing a novel, but I know that my prose skills are not the slickest and that I find dialogue much easier so when I got accepted onto a masters degree in television and radio scriptwriting in 2011, I felt like this was the opportunity to start writing with a goal in mind.
Having just completed the classes, I have a portfolio to finish before I start my masters project which I am excited about writing. A six-part comedy drama about a family of women forced to live together after a family breakdown. I’ve got nine months to write it in, so I am hoping to write a couple of scenes per day (day job permiting).
I’ve also been taking playwriting classes too at a fringe theatre in Manchester, as it’ll be easier to make a name for myself as a writer doing theatre first. Manchester is also a vibrant, cultural city where playwrights are celebrated. I hope to get something out there soon, once I have a play performed with my name on the poster then at that point will I consider myself a writer.