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My Writing Background




This page is a question and answer session posing questions which I asked myself and imagined you, my reader, may also like to know what they were and my answers.

If you think of any other question you think I should've asked but missed out, please let me know..

I suppose I should've started trying to get my writing out for others to read ages ago. Typing it up wasn't a problem. After all, I taught folk how to use computer packages for a great part of my working life, so I'm familiar enough with using a keyboard.

So why did I stop teaching? Well, new versions of software were always being developed (I suppose it's still the same today) but to train in the latest products I had to keep learning about the new bells and whistles that were being added. It was like running to stand still which is probably why, since stopping that work, I've mostly use the programs with which I'm familiar.

So what, you might ask, made me act now? Well I asked myself the same thing. To try to identify why, in spite of having a lifelong desire to see my creative writing published, this hasn't yet happened I actually thought of a series of other questions. These are set out below. I've also used my answers to include details about my various writing experiences.

I hope everything I've written will give you a bit more of an understanding about me and why I'm so determined to succeed this time.

What do you want and when do you want it?

I really, really want to get more of my creative writing published.

What's stopped you? A combination of personal problems and a lack of self confidence has stopped me doing anything with my writing up to now, and that includes getting it on my web site. But procrastinating has to stop sometime and that time is now.
Have you ever had anything published?

Several technical articles have been published in the past as well as letters to magazines.

I have also self published an Astrology book and had work included in an anthology.

What were the technical articles? The most regular were articles in computing magazines about training. I also had a regular page reviewing products for the WordPerfect Magazine. As the software Guru for the WordPerfect User Group of the UK, I often wrote items and answered questions for the group’s newsletter as well as offering ‘phone support to members.
Anything else?

The book I self-published is Understanding Your Birth Chart (A Beginner's Guide to Astrology). I've also had work included in an anthology Believe You Can Live a Life You Love at 50+: True Stories to Inspire Women. Both of these books are currently available from me or from Amazon.

I also created training manuals and exercises for my work as a freelance trainer in computer applications. When my husband Nigel wrote a system for the BBC, I wrote all the manuals and training notes and used both to teach staff how to use the program.

Before going freelance I worked on lengthy contracts as part of a team producing training materials for large systems including bespoke software being written for major organisations, e.g. Thames Water, Parker Hannifin, Xansa.

I produce all the training materials, reference books, etc. for the courses I still run in Tarot and Astrology.

Articles which don't fall into any of the above categories were in memory of the achievements of my father-in-law after he passed away. These were published in the Kodak newsletter and the local newspaper.

Isn’t that enough? Not really. Although the last item was more creative than the work related stuff, it still wasn't what I really want to get into the wide world.
So more specifically what do you want? I want more personal, creative work to be published.
What sort of things are these? A lot of my writing is diaries, often written as letters to my daughters. They include things that made me laugh or cry as well as recording general stuff that happens during my life and also at events I organise. When I have particularly vivid dreams I write about them too.
Is there anything else you've written that's different to what you’ve had published?

I've written loads of short stories and the opening chapters of longer novels and other books.

Complaints written in verse, or tongue in cheek to make the recipient smile, produce far better results than just general moans, so almost complete is a book of my missives to companies together with their replies, if any.

Other works in progress include:

  • Tarot, You and Me, a book about my experiences with Tarot and a comprehensive guide to learning to read the cards
  • A manual of hints and tips I’ve tried and tested over the years.
Why haven't you done more to get published? In the past the writing process was my main drive. Probably because of hang-ups from childhood, once what was in my head was down on paper I lost incentive to do anything more with it.
So what’s waiting to get out into the big, wide world?

My life has been very eventful and my home office has shelves containing handwritten diaries dating back more than 40 years. I have countless files on my computer (in folders labelled with the year they were written dating back to the 1980s) some of which are typed pages from the handwritten diaries, others were written directly onto whichever word processor I was using at the time.

I've got other folders, both the paper type and those on computer, which contain only poetry, some funny, some serious. There are words to songs waiting for music to be written for them, and a few competition entries which were left because rejection stopped me from trying again.

So what are you going to do about it?

I've realised that if I don't do something positive I'll never get my dream so now I'm concentrating on trying to get something published.

As a start I went through the CV I used to send out when I was job hunting. Taking each job in turn (and adding a few I didn't include) I've written about the company, how I felt working there and anything worth mentioning that happened whilst I was there. You can read a few of these from this MY REAL CV link.

Of course if you want to be REALLY daring, you could always go back to the ALL MY WRITING page and take your pick of what else you want to read. 

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