Volunteering at the CAB has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone. It is a front-line role with nowhere to hide and when people have been waiting an hour to see you, there is no doubt that you feel the pressure to find them some answers and help, in short - to be worth waiting to see! It gets easier the more you do (as your own knowledge builds) and it is undeniably fascinating (as issues range from debt, immigration problems, relationship issues, disputes at work and much more besides) but most of all it has been very rewarding.
Becoming a student again was very enjoyable. I was studying Creative Writing, with the focus on short fiction and poetry. The workload was high and it was definitely a challenge but I loved it, and I learned a great deal along the way. It has definitely helped me to become a better writer and equally as important, sparked my interest in writing more serious poetry. Before then I had only been inclined to write more humorous rhyming prose. I am quite sad that the course has finished now but it does give me more time to concentrate on my main project - writing children’s books.
So, how has this been going? Well, I have self-published three books so far and also written a series of three pirate books, currently being illustrated and due for publication in the near future. My next project will be a sequel to My Crazy Purple Pen. I am very happy with all the books and excited about the pirate series. This has probably been the most fun set of stories to write so far. Have I hit the best-sellers list yet? No. Am I making a living from writing children’s books? Not yet! Do I still think it is worth carrying on? Yes, absolutely. Keep writing, keep marketing and keep going.