My third goal is to spend more time writing…
I’ve always loved reading. I remember having friends over in junior school and asking them if they wanted to read instead of play so I could finish whatever book I was reading at the time.
Hand-in-hand with reading went a love of writing; English Composition was my favourite part of school. I didn’t mind homework if it was writing an English essay.
After leaving school my writing consisted mainly of letters, particularly while I was au-pairing in Holland and later, via email, when James and I moved to the UK.
When James was in crèche I wrote a few stories for him which he and his classmates enjoyed. I did the illustrations myself and they’re hilarious; perspective was never my strong point!
Several years ago a friend invited me to attend a Writers Circle she facilitated once a month. I went along feeling very enthusiastic to learn more about the “craft” of writing but was horrified to discover that part of the morning was spent reading your work to others. I was too self-conscious to read aloud and after a while I stopped going.
Over time my passion for passing on my love of reading to children has grown. Reading has such a wide variety of benefits and I wanted to write stories that would make children love to read. I do a lot of babysitting and love reading to the children – sometimes testing my own stories on them.
One night, while babysitting, I was inspired and motivated by an idea for a series of stories. I wrote a draft of the first story after the children had fallen asleep. I sent it to my Writers Circle friend, Jean, and was so encouraged by her feedback that I finally plucked up enough courage to return to the Writers’ Circle and read my story to them. And it was fine!
That was two years ago and I haven’t looked back. I’ve slowly gained confidence and eventually found the courage to start this blog and begin preparations to self-publish one of the stories I wrote for James all those years ago. And no, I’m definitely not illustrating it myself!
I’d love to hear about the steps you’re taking towards your goals….