Writing is my creative release and reading a pleasurable escape. I’ve written poems and stories for as long as I can remember – both to explore ideas about life and to relieve emotional turmoil.
My first poem was published when I was just eight years old and I went on to study English Literature at University, a Postgrad’ Cert’ in Periodical Journalism followed then a decade-long career as a writer/editor for the music and travel industries. I’ve also just finished my first fictional novel, which is in the pitching satge of publication but has been longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition 2015.
I offer Wild Writing workshops, a mix of my joys of yoga and writing, at festivals such as Bestival. I also run a monthly creative writing workshop and critique group called Cut It Out. And write the odd piece for Yoga Magazine and Om Yoga Magazine.
Only now, at the age of 33, am I starting to live my truth. I’ve never been happier, though, and it’s just the beginning!
I remember reading James Redfield’s Celestine Prophecy as a teenager. It was the first time I realised that others thought the same as me about energy and our collective connections. I’d left the Catholic Church some years before but my spiritual beliefs remained and this was the first time I’d found two of my innate joys – spirituality and writing – together. It was way back then that my current focus for Visionary Fiction got seeded. I didn’t have the confidence or encouragement to believe I could do something similar. Until my parents died.
Life is so damn short and I was taught that the hard way. My parents’ deaths kicked me into action. Almost overnight my career as a journalist/editor, which I’d worked damn hard to build, no longer fit. I’d been writing about all these amazingly creative, inspiring people whilst my own expression was being held back. That seed I’d planted over a decade ago was pushing through my skin, itching to bloom.
I’ll never forget when – looking out over the bright lights of London from my top floor office in Notting Hill – I decided to walk away from my journalism career. I was working as editor for a bespoke travel guide at the time, commissioning and correcting pieces about beautiful places and entrepreneurial people around the world. It was a great job with a generous salary but I wasn’t happy. My soul yearned for more. So I quit.
My first novel started a whole new training programme. I had to undo the ‘say it how it is’ journalist ideals; read numerous ‘how to’ writing books; re-studied my Literature degree teachings; joined several workshops and courses, including the brilliant Chalk The Sun group in South London (highly recommended) and started an esteemed (top five in the world, apparently) MA in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester.
I am proud of what I’ve achieved (in discipline alone – I’ve rewritten this novel at least six times) and hope that it will bring enjoyment and inspiration to those who read it. An accompanying course book will follow soon too – Escape To China is divided into seven sections based on Kundalini Yoga’s Seven Steps To Happiness. And I’ve started developing a plan for the next novel. Good times.
My current work is a blend of contemporary women’s fiction and visionary fiction. It’s similar to that of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love and Anna Hunt’s A Shaman in Stilettos, although mine is more fictitious. I’ve sought inspiration from the fierce, female spiritpreneurs, Gabrielle Bernstein and Rebecca Campbell. As well as the work of Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down The Bones), Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) and Clarissa Pinkola Estes (Women Who Run With The Wolves).
I’ve devoured many of Paulo Coelho’s books. Strong female writers such as Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter, Kate Atkinson and even good old Charlotte Bronte are leading lights for me. As are Philip Pullman, Jack Kerouac, Aldous Huxley, Ian McEwan and Ernest Hemingway. I luxuriate in the Romantic Poetry of Keats, Wordsworth and Blake. I also find enjoyment in modern, spoken word poetry and the well written lyrics of varying musical genres.
It’s taken some time for me to start sharing my creative writing and I’m still working on being comfortable in showing my vulnerable side but this is what I’m called to do. I’m stepping into that fear wholeheartedly and it feels massive!
Thank you for stopping to read about my creative journey. I would love to hear about anything it’s stirred in you. Please, share your stories (fiction and non-fiction), let me know what you think about mine. Release those feelings to the page (or whatever works for you) and let’s relate, grow and nourish each other.