Is reading important for writing?

I have recently started a creative writing club where I work for a group of children aged between 11 and 15 and I had a huge amount of interest in it, which I was really please with, and quite frankly surprised by – mostly because of the amount of students willing to stay behind after school for the club.

So, from the outset, it was clear to me that children are generally interested in writing and are naturally creative creatures. However, as soon as I started this club I hit a great, massive, brick wall. For the first creative writing task, I thought it might be fun to run a project. The outline of this project was to work in groups, and take a book that they had read (at least 1 of them needed to have read it) and turn it into a play. The problem arose when practically none of the students could think of a book they had read.

Bearing in mind that these are children who have elected to join a creative writing club, yet did not seem able to recall any books. When I asked them about this, the majority of them informed me that they do not read outside of the classroom (this, despite the fact that the school has a strict policy that every student must take a book out of the library every fortnight). It got me thinking about the importance of reading.

I decided to change the topic to short story writing instead. So, after the first couple of sessions, when they had finished their short stories, I collected them up and read through them. What I found was not at all surprising. Most of the stories were creative and were based on good ideas (so clearly not reading did not effect their creativity much). However, for the couple of children who did read for pleasure, it was clear that reading effected their writing. The range of vocabulary they used was much wider and more mature, their stories were more captivating and the format was better.

It was clear then, to me, that reading is an important tool for structured and creative writing. I honestly think that there is not enough done to promote reading and I am going back to the drawing board to try and solve this – at least for my students! If you have any ideas on promoting reading to teenagers, please let me know.


Studying with the OU and other life

A little while ago I wrote that I do not believe whole heartedly in University. Unless you decide to do something with your university education, it just seems a moot point. I recently, however, discovered that I would like to do something with education, or rather in education. For about 2 years now I have been stuck in administrative jobs, and although I have worked in great places and met amazing people, my job roles have just left me unfulfilled. I miss the days of working with children, the interactivity, the enjoyment.

I used to work with children with special needs, mostly with autism. And I have decided to return to this, and will be starting a new job in just over a week. Alongside my new career, I am studying with the Open University for my Ba in English Literature. I hope that when I finish my degree, I will be in a position where I can go into teaching, specifically special needs teaching. Also, rather hypocritically of me, I missed studying. I missed the pressure, the deadlines, the responsibility and the fun of it.

As well as all of this, I am moving from London to Yorkshire in 7 days, with my much better half, and we are starting a life their. (Very strange feeling for two born and raised Londoners). So right now my life is full of balls in the air that I am trying to juggle without letting any drop.

Currently I am studying my first ever module with the OU, AA100 The Arts Past and Present, and am so far loving it.

And please, do not despair…there will be reviews and more to come.

I have returned

Like Sherlock Holmes making a surprise re entry after the Reichenbach Falls, I have returned. I have had great fun making cakes, which I am still doing, although not as intensely. I have recently returned to University, studying English Literature with the OU, and thought it was about time I returned to my great love of all things literary.

I’m glad to be back.

See You Soon

Dear Readers, who have probably become non readers in the last few weeks thanks to my severe lack of posting.

I must first apologise – there have been some ups and downs in the previous few weeks that have prevented me from posting. There has been quite a lot of trouble and turmoil.

BUT, through all of this, I have begun to work on a new project, and I will be putting this blog down for a nap. This is not goodbye, I will come back to this in a few months when I have more time, but for now, I will be working on:

Please follow and support me in trying to get my project up and running!

I Would Like To Thank The Fans

For keeping me cool. I have been nominated for another award:


Thank you to artsandyouthlove for this honour. You have my gratitude for this act of kindness, and for reading my blog.

The rules:

1. Display the Award Certificate on your website

2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award

3. Present up to 15 awards to deserving bloggers

4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post

5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself


7 Interesting things about me:

I am a trained English as a Second Language teacher, but have so far not bothered teaching anyone a single English word.

I’m somewhat semi-obsessed with learning about psychopaths and serial killers. This is not because I am one, I merely aim to be able to spot one when necessary.

I’m quite the gourmet chef/baker – but this is top secret and you must tell no one.

I’m a culture snob. I unwittingly look down on those who read/watch/listen to mainstream stuff just because it’s ‘cool’, one has to appreciate the artistic element.

I am anti-education. Not all education, higher education. I have a firm belief that unless you want to become a doctor/lawyer/teacher/nuclear physicist, then university is a useless past-time.

I am what one would consider famous, but most of you will never know the face that hides behind this blog.

I am many things, but culture is only one tiny speck on the surface of the being behing the blog.


My nominees are:

The Universe And Me

A Wordless Blogger

Creative Junkie

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

I’ve been nominated for my very first blog award which is pretty darned cool! Thank you to the mysterious wordless blogger for this grand award! I shall cherish it for eternity.



The Rules:

1) Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.

2) Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back to them.

3) Answer the 5 simple questions.

4) Nominate up to 20 blogs for the award and notify each of them.

5) Display the award on your blog somewhere.



5 Simple questions:

1) If you could change one thing, what would you change?

Poverty, starvation, politics? Oh how humanitarian of me! As I’m currently waiting on hold to a call centre and have been for more than 30minutes, I’d quite like to change those as well. Especially when it’s a necessary call with a premium rate number.

2) If you could repeat an age, what would it be?

20. When I was 20 everything was good. I’m quite lucky because everything is pretty much still good, but when I was 20 I could look forward to turning 21, now I just want to look back!

3) What is one thing that really scares you?

Rats. Rats are the devil in rodent form.

4) What is one dream you have not completed, and do you think you’ll be able to complete it?

To write a book. And to get that book published – halfway there already!

5) If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be?

That’s a tough one, I quite like being me. I guess I wouldn’t mind being Batman. Or Bane, lets be honest, Bane is cooler.


My nominees are:

Broken Penguins

Creative Junkie

The Universe And Me

What just happened…?

Has anyone else just suffered from almost fatal shock when logging into WordPress only to do a double take and think you’ve logged into outlook? What is with this modern minimalistic approach to websites? I want lots of buttons, interactivity, SMALL FONT!

Why did this happen? Why did they try to change something that wasn’t broken??



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