I have been a writer all my life! My favourite teacher at junior school used to leave me to complete my mammoth tales while the other
children went on to something else. I wish every teacher had been as encouraging as she was.
I used to create my own magazines (only one copy of each issue) and charge the other children a small fee if they wanted to read it.
However, it wasn't until I was older that I was able to fully realise my dream and concentrate on my writing. Even then, it wasn't
all plain sailing. If I'd followed the advice of a university lecturer I wouldn't be where I am today. He said that a story I'd
submitted for an assignment had no merit whatsoever, and I should rip it up and start again. That story 'It all seemed like yesterday'
was shortlisted for a competition and eventually published in 'Woman.' I haven't looked back since then.
I have taught writing and art classes for several colleges. Many of my students have had mental health problems and have discovered
the healing benefits of creative work.
I encourage all my students to put in regular practise and not give up. A story that is rejected today could be a winner next time.
My top ten tips are as follows:
carry a notebook wherever you go - and use it
write every day, even if it's only for five minutes
use the senses - give the reader the full experience
be prepared to re-write ... and re-write ... and re-write
read work aloud to yourself - you'll spot the dodgy bits
finish what you start - however bad you think it is
don't look to your family or friends for proper criticism
don't take rejection personally - keep trying
trust your own judgement - if you like it, stick with it
1% effort each day = 100% of something in just over 3 months