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Any Feedback On Your Writing Is Better Than None!

October 30th, 2015

andrea-hewitt-blogMy first claim to fame was in my English lesson at junior school, back in the late 70s. We were doing a project on Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, which was a big hit at the time.  The best writers were to be given the chance to talk to the author asking him ten of our chosen questions.  I won for the girls, another student won for the boys.

I can remember sitting in the school office, waiting with eager anticipation whilst our teacher dialled his number.  I went second, speaking to him without being able to contain my excitement. I’ve got to be honest – I can’t remember half of my questions but just remember feeling extremely proud that I’d be given the chance to talk to what was then a celebrity, at least in my eyes.

I’d passed my English exams with flying colours, always having a way with words, wishing to be a writer one day. But as is often the case, life well and truly takes over.  Family, children and work left my writing on the back burner.  I used to write for my children – bed time stories – and I even wrote for a competition in the local paper which, I hasten to add, I didn’t send, not having the confidence to accept at the time, losing.

It was my husband who encouraged me to return to my dreams and aspirations, coming across the Writers Bureau advert in a magazine.  I sent off for the information, signed up for my course, and started my assignments, working during the evenings and weekends, whilst holding down a full time job.

In the back of my mind, I thought I’d encounter instant success. I’d be a full time writer, give up work and watch the benefits of my success role in.  Landing with a bump I now realise that experience well and truly comes with experience, of which I had none.  My favourite part of the course was the letter writing, to magazines and papers, both local and national.  I seemed to find a niche in the market, realising that I could learn from my submissions and understand what kind of material was needed.

Some of my submissions have not been paid for, which in the beginning I wouldn’t have even considered. But you know what? These are often the ones that give me the most satisfaction.  To see my name in a paper or magazine gives me a warm feeling of satisfaction, thinking that my letter/article was good enough for publication.

My successes to date are Peoples’ Friend, Yours, Real People, Thurrock Gazette, Romford Recorder, a magazine in Hudson, Florida (an article I wrote about the history of Christmas for their Christmas edition) and my best yet, which I confess to being extremely proud of, is the Guardian.  I’ve been in the Sunday People eight times! Some of the above are non-payment whilst others are paid, but I can honestly say, any feedback can only be better than no feedback at all…

I’m currently continuing with my submissions to papers/magazines etc. I’m also attempting my first book, about my time in a women’s refuge, a huge work in progress that will take a while to complete.  In the meantime, I’m still working full time as a senior administrator for a local security company, but also working towards, one day, embarking on writing full time.


Diana Nadin


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