I can't remember not writing. I do know I wrote stories all through my maths education, teaching myself mirror writing to avoid the irate teacher reading it out. This explains why I failed to absorb quadratic equations or trigonometry, and I can still knock out a few sentences in reverse.
I'm a qualified psychologist, that is to say I have undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. I specialised in Health Psychology: that part of psychology that relates to physical health. I've worked in paediatric, mental health and palliative care settings. I have heard a lot of very sad stories, so in my forties, I left the sad world of psychology and branched out into writing.
I started with the Open College of the Arts, doing a level 1 writing course. I quickly branched out into the Open Universities writing courses, A215 and A363, getting both at distinction and earning myself a Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing.
I studied for a Masters in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester, renting there for the year away from my family. I completed it in 2012. The experience has helped me prioritise: writing is a task, not an occasional hobby. I have a 1000 word minimum a day habit. I wrote short stories, a novel, fiction for children and poetry while I was there. Several pieces have been published, several have been longlisted or shortlisted for competitions.
My education continues. I am developing my poetry to inform my fiction, and have an agent and publisher. I hope to do a PhD in the future, to continue to improve.