I can trace how I got started writing back to being a young child. Remember those Disney themed exercise book sets? I remember pouring my thoughts and ideas into them. I wrote sporadic one paragraph diary entries, lists of things I wanted and most significantly now, short stories, often remakes of fairy tales.
When I entered secondary school, I discovered that I loved creating written tasks. Whether I had to produce roleplays, leaflets or articles, I always relished the challenge of producing written work and embellishing them with my own illustrations. When the class would groan in unison at the proposal of an essay, I would find no problem with the task.
One of the first writing tasks we were given by our English teacher Ms Bainbridge, was to create an autobiography. I wasted no time recounting details of my young life’s history. Similarly, in Personal Social Health Education class we were required to create informative magazine articles and leaflets on subjects such as drugs, abortion and contraception. I created an eating disorders leaflet in the shape of a pair of scales which I can remember spending days on to complete and which went down very well with my peers, who voted it the best leaflet in the class. In the five years that I spent in secondary school it came to me that I quite enjoyed writing and found myself at ease with it in all its forms.
Fiction writing prevailed in my spare time when I began writing Fan Fiction at the age of thirteen to entertain myself at home. I can honestly say that my affinity with writing is linked to my history of reading. For as far back as I can remember, I had a healthy relationship with books as a child. I was read to practically every night and books and their vivid pictures formed a huge part of my entertainment growing up. I always had my own bookshelf with a library of books and would spend chunks of time leafing through them, fixated on the pictures when I couldn’t read and the words when I learned to. I was particularly obsessed with the library of Childcraft books that I had. An expansive volume of books covering topics such as astronomy, wildlife, science, biology, world climates and engineering. These books offered me a variation of materials and gave me the tolerance and discipline needed to engage in topics that fell outside of my normal pool of interests.
This clearly helped in secondary school and enabled me to see the joy and value in writing even if it was a boring History essay on the Treaty of Versailles. I eventually left secondary school with an A in English Language and an A in English literature. The writer in me wasn’t quite born yet but I did decide to pursue both topics combined at A level in college where once again I ravished the materials given regardless of how ‘relatable’ they seemed and immersed myself within the various contexts which helps now as a writer because I enjoy consuming literature from different genres and we all know that an avid reader makes a great writer right?
These were the little writing buds which eventually blossomed out into me taking writing more seriously. After a few sporadic short stories and working on my debut novel for an absolute age, here I am!