Are we enough?

The Writer’s Progress is drawing to the end of its quest in becoming a self-published eBook author producing a collection of works specifically under the project title,

A (f)ilosophy for the Art, Creative Writing.

If you check over in the menu at Books, an eBook era is taking place for me. So many words have been shared to date, I can’t quite believe it, I surprised myself.

I am going to be giving the eBooks away for free over the coming months, because I want to. The next step is to turn the words into a paper-back copy. But, I prefer not to get ahead of myself. One step at a time.  For now, I tumble back to the beginning of one writer’s progress.

Well, it all began with a ton of reading with the University of Hull, after which I was in a huge quandary of: What exactly is a woman? And can a female really be a poet? Why would I be interested? Hadn’t I been conditioned to believe that girls were made to look pretty and smile a lot, even when they are quite emotionally sad and feeling empty inside. Don’t forget, they are here to make babies, lots of babies.  I was even led to believe in the past as a Girl from Hull that intelligence was a ‘male only’ status.  Was I worthy?


At the time, I was living in a mindful state of 1950s ignorance, possibly even living in the Victorian conditioned mode. My body had finally proved it was capable of bearing a family in later life. It took a while to get there, there were many reasons why, (with hindsight,) but at the time I became a mother and chose to be a stay-at-home parent, I hadn’t appreciated the reasons.

Thankfully, I was so blissfully in a state of euphoria that I had achieved childbirth without death. I began to explore this new world I now lived in, thanks to my husband, I felt free, I dabbled in quite a bit of photography, because I needed images upon images to reflect and remember my life in pure-happy-mode, and to use it for inspiration and add to a portfolio of artworks, surprisingly I was always drawn to take pictures of nature and the sky, nowadays that is called mindfulness.


And finally, I did my best, based upon the knowledge I had to create fabulous content, and a worthwhile read, self-publishing upon amazon, blogging here and there in this space, and tweeting now and then, after completing a couple of degrees at the University of Hull. Who would have thought it, me, a modern woman writer? How professional!

However, something was missing, sometimes I would ask myself, did it all really happen? I wondered what ‘it’ was.

It was a conversation in 2017 on Linkedin with a fellow writer, when I was asked,

“What exactly made you write this particular poem?”

The chap was great, and said he had connected with it. However, my poem Taken could be connected with on so many levels.  What made me write it?

I knew the answer, but I wasn’t ready to share my reasons. I hid behind my screen, I closed the PC, and disappeared for a while.

Why did he need to know this information?

When I read a book the Author is the last person on my mind, filling myself up with characters and words, comprehending this and that. I hadn’t tried to understand why the writer chose those particular words. Textual analysis! I had done this for academia, and chose to believe it was for academia only, surely? Or maybe not?

I guess some of us do care why someone chooses to write their stories, poetry, novels, that is why memoirs and bios are so successful, which made me think:


Do I want people to know about me?

My knee-jerk response was absolutely not, because, I don’t want to know about me, and this is where A (f)ilosophy for the Art of Creative Writing begins to draw to a conclusion in its quest.

In summer 2017 I decided that if I am to succeed in being an Author, I must find out who I – A Woman, A Writer, A Mother, A Female – am? Armed with a magazine offering tips in how to do so, alongside, many fellow-writers online who I decided I would trust and attempt to connect with, sharing some of the reasons I write what I choose.

I chose a selection of books as reading material, for myself. Not for academia! Or for knowledge, nor insight, just for me.

It was difficult at first. I found myself remembering what I used to do when I was younger as a teen, before I was bullied by a multitude of voices into thinking I was never going to be intelligent ‘so drop it’ and go out and get drunk because that was what teens did in my day. Or so I had been led to believe.

I remembered: I used to love translating languages and it was in attending the University of Hull in later-life that consolidated this memory. I was drawn to the stories and languages of old. Many contemporary English novels, dare I share, bored me.

After realising that I had locked my true-unique-self into an ivory tower for so many years, protecting myself from the shame of never been enough. I began to recognise that my Writing was a passion which allowed me to find my core. I started writing a fantasy story for young-adult readers in 2016, realising it wasn’t a fantasy at all, it was a true-to-life non-fiction.

Where would I end up after evaluating all of this?

I armed myself with a non-fiction book written by a French Author. It was time to do what I used to do as a hobby. A hobby which never came to anything because I was afraid of pre-judgement.

I am no longer afraid.

It was time to test my ability, was I enough? baby-sleeping-baby-baby-girl.jpg

In the next few blogs I will let you know how I got on.

P.S: The non-fiction book that I chose to translate was all about having a baby, so forgive me if this blog begins to annoy or frustrate you, but if a writer has a passion, we have to follow a lead, wherever it might take us.

Thanks for reading.

J. Spencer, Creative Writing, © March 2018
Proud to be an Ambassador to Psychologies Magazine.


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