Writing Degree

Since man or woman first put a pen to paper, you never needed qualifications to become a writer. Just a sleepless desire to write. A deep obsession to create. A yearning to harmonize thoughts to paper. A hunger for someone to read your thoughts, feelings, dreams, creations.

So I followed that same drive and I just wrote. Anything, something, whatever my thoughts dictated, my hand obeyed.

At the start of the 70s, I became a journalist working for a local paper writing record and concert reviews, and features on local areas. In between those glorious words, I sold advertising space, usually working to tight deadlines and always trying to improve on the previous edition's page count. I was writing for a job and I did not stop writing when I got home. By the end of that decade, I had written and stocked several books of poems, short stories, aphorisms and rough outlines for about six novels.

Then during the 80s, I attended the UK Open University to obtain qualifications for a career as a teacher or a psychologist. I attempted this while sometimes working from 6.00am to sometimes 10.00pm seven days a week as a driving instructor. I began feeling like the Jimi Hendrix single 'Burning of the Midnight Lamp'. The writing I did during this period were mostly essays. There was little time to either write personally, or send anything away to publishers or agents.

By the mid-90s, I had lost my drive to teaching others to drive and concentrated on learning and teaching. I obtained qualifications to become an Adult Teacher - teaching anyone who wanted to learn Literacy and Numeracy from 16 years old upwards.

Throughout these periods, my writing desire never waned but the 90s provided me with the opportunity to send off some of my pieces which were published. So with teaching, writing, publication experience, I decided to teach Creative Writing at night while teaching computing during the day. These were the early days of Microsoft 3.1, the Internet, emails etc. people were curious. This was a great opportunity for me to design computer courses, which I decided to teach as well.

But now it was approaching ‘me’ time and concentrate all the time I had on writing and improving my art. And in this time, I obtained my BA (Eng. Lit.) Creative Writing. The cherry? Achieving a ‘Distinction’ in my final exam. Pride oozed regimentally out of every pore demanding attention.

'There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.' - Ernest Hemingway