Growing up I was lucky to have parents that read to me a lot. Our house was filled with books and VHS tapes, all of which held stories and adventures. Looking back I thing I owe something to my early childhood years, as they have helped me to shape the person I am today. Essentially, I always enjoyed a good story, if I wasn’t being read to or watching the TV, then I’d be parked in the middle of the carpet, creating my own magic places with plastic figurines and empty boxes. Without realising at the time, my parents liberally encouraged such activities, which may be partially why I’ve been drawn into shaping a creative career for myself.
Two decades later I still love stories just much. However, when I first began consider the idea of a writing career, I struggled to place the initial seed that had led me to this idea. In honesty I think it’s always been there, it was an organic interest which intensified as I got older and has led me to where I am today. Whether it was creating book reports in primary school, my hoarding of stationary, or the TV shows I watched throughout my teens, I always had a desire to write, envision and illustrate my own tales. In truth the result seems almost inevitable on reflection.
Though the question remains on when writing became the ‘drug’ so to speak. Turn the clock back 10 years, I was struggling with a multitude of personal dramas, just like any other teen. I found my escapism in the stories I read, the music I heard and programmes I watched, my inner artist was itching to utilise such inspiration and so I’d sit for hours simply writing. Over the next couple of years I would turn initial fantasies and daydreams into more thoughtful and stylised pieces. I started to take my scribbles seriously and began to source outlets to send my writing to. It wasn’t just one genre either, I wrote scripts, trialled poetry, gave short story a go and send my work out into the ethos with mixed success. The few pieces that prompted positive replies gave me enough confidence and drive to continue.
When it came to sitting my GCSEs, I steered away from A-levels and opted to pursue my real ambition to get creative instead. I enrolled myself on a BTEC in TV and Film Production. From day one we were thrown in the deep end and asked to present a script to camera and I loved it! During this time I wrote scripts, interviews celebrities created adverts, documentaries and generally had a ball. But, I didn’t give up the writing. During spare lunch hours or after hours I would purposefully sat behind to write pages of a book I had planned. Clearly like every other writer some ideas get scrapped or put on the back-burner, sadly after several rejection letters this was one of them. Several years on, I’m not surprised it got rejected (honestly) and I like to think that I’m a much better writer now.
Much as I enjoyed the multi facets of production, I decided that I wanted to hone back in on my writing and the publication process, so I made off to Cotswolds to study Creative Writing and Publishing in the historic city of Bath. During my three years I sought to maximise every opportunity and sought experience at film and literature festivals, and visited towns such as Oxford, Edinburgh and Stratford-Upon-Avon, all home to literary masters. I broadened my knowledge, worked hard to gain experience and even managed to produce my own indie magazine.
I enjoyed myself so much, that I decided to stay for an extra year and undertake an MA in Travel Writing and Nature Writing. It’s been a hard year, but the effort appears to have paid off and I’ve had a ball at times with good friends. Now I am about to begin a new chapter as an established author of miscellaneous things, yes, that’s right, miscellaneous things. I have had many smaller pieces published – articles, poetry, short stories etc, but there are bigger plans on the horizon. I’ve almost finished my first book, yes really this time! It’s going to be available as an e-book, hopefully before the new year. I’ve also secured my first real publishing deal, which is currently under wraps. It’s going to be a while before there is anything to show publically, it’s a slow burn, but things are happening!
Who knows what the future really holds, but in the interim I will always keep writing. Ideas will keep on turning, old plotlines will continue to be re-worked and who knows, maybe someday soon you’ll read something other than blog posts from me. Of course, I’ll keep you posted on relevant updates and I hope to keep travelling as well. If you’d like to find out more about my previous projects, publications or get in touch about collaborating, then head over to my freelance website at jennarainey.wordpress.com