I began writing in 2014 when I took part in a 10 week creative writing course at the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts (SVCA), part of the University of East Anglia in Norwich. The course was linked to an exhibition running there at the time. The idea was to choose a piece of art and from your reaction to the piece, develop a short story as the tutor guided us through the basics of creative writing.

This is the piece I chose:

the artist; (c) Anthony Green RA; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Anthony Green. “My Mother Alone in Her Dining Room”

I experienced a very strong reaction to the painting.

This was my mother.

As I wrote and completed my story, my emotions and feelings were strong and challenging. They took me by surprise. Fortunately as a trained psychotherapist, I was able to monitor, be my own observer and take care of my needs. The course helped me not only improve my writing but during those ten weeks, I discovered the power of writing for therapy or writing for wellbeing. I also discovered a strong need to write the type of story that delivers a message and invites the reader to enquire of themselves and to grow as a person. The sort of story I like to read.

Since then, I have written numerous short stories and the process for completing each has been hugely rewarding.

I discovered my short stories, although standalone pieces in their own right had a connection and could be linked. I began to refer to them as chapters, linking them and formulating them into a whole. I have now written over 40,000 words which I am considering developing into a novel.

Later, I turned my attention to non-fiction — specifically the personal essay and memoir writing. I am collecting soundbites or snippets of writing which I intend formulating into a whole piece — a memoir or a series of memoirs. I am finding the process of writing lives very therapeutic.

And recently, I have I have written the first draft of a memoir. It is dark and emotionally charged with complex characters. I may move it towards publication, but currently, I am taking a break from memoir. My focus now is flash fiction and poetry.

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