Ten years ago, a friend saw a postcard pinned to a notice board in a small village shop advertising a creative writing evening class with local writer, Paula Brackston. Knowing that I have a passion for writing and a dream to one day be published, my friend sent me a text message and I decided to go along. I didn’t know at the time that it would change my whole career direction.
So, one evening in September 2006, I joined the group. We met every Tuesday, whatever the weather, and spent two hours writing and sharing our work. Gradually everybody gained confidence. The feedback and support was invaluable and we went from being just members of a class to being good friends. Our evening classes progressed to a few writing weekends away and we’ve never looked back.
A few months after starting the class, I suddenly shocked them all by announcing I was giving up my secure, permanent office job to train to become an English teacher. I knew that I wanted to be a writer and teaching would give me a career to go alongside and allow me to pursue my interests in language and literature.
Fast forward a few years and Paula had to give up teaching the class as her own writing was becoming very successful. However, some of the group decided to continue with a different person hosting each class and we kept in touch with Paula.
We recently celebrated ten years of being a writing group. This was the perfect time to reflect on our achievements and ambitions.
Since joining the group, I have studied for a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) and a Masters Degree in Education and I am now a successful secondary school Head of English. Paula has gone on to become a ‘New York Times’ bestselling author (www.paulabrackston.com). We also celebrated the fact that ten years on, we are still writing!
This is the story that has led to this blog. 2017 is going to be the year when I will begin the journey and attempt to take my writing from a pastime to a profession. The market is now so saturated that writers have to move with the times. The members of the writing group have given me the encouragement and confidence to set up this website and blog so that I can share my writing.
Building a website is something that is new to me but I’m hoping that you’ll follow my blog and the things I am doing as I aim to properly call myself a writer.
Writing has already given me so many great opportunities and I’m excited about what the future holds.
Just for an extra challenge, I have signed up for ‘Country Walking’ magazine’s #walk1000miles 2017 and I will be combining walking and writing to share my progress. I’ve got my new boots all ready to go so now I just have to plan where my feet will take me!
Add to this my teaching and my charity volunteering, it’s going to be a busy year!