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03 September 2018

Guestpost: How I Started Writing by Faith Bleasdale

Today I have a fantastic guestport from Faith Bleasdale, author of Secrets at Meadowbrook Manor, talking about how they starting writing. I reviewed A Year at Meadowbrook Manor by Faith Bleasdale earlier this year.

How I Started Writing by Faith Bleasdale

I hate to reveal my age, but I started writing in my twenties, and now twenty years later - and a few hiccups I am about to publish my twelfth fiction book - SECRETS AT MEADOWBROOK MANOR. So it seemed like a good time for reflection, to go back and look at how it all began.

I loved books as a child, I read and read and read. It would be my escape, Enid Blyton was my alternate universe. And when I started school, I discovered a love of writing stories. As my school years progressed and I found that I was pretty terrible at maths and science I would take comfort in my English lessons, handing in stories which were far too long, making my poor English teacher work overtime on marking. To his credit he never stopped me and always encouraged me.

As a teenager I didn’t write as much, and when I went to Bristol Uni to study History, having fun seemed to be my priority. It was more wine than writing.

Fast forward to my power dressing years. I moved to London after graduation with the big idea of being a career woman. The problem was that I didn’t know what career I wanted. I tried a few - sales, marketing, advertising and even investment banking. By my early twenties I had a left a trail of destruction. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t get fired, often, but I did leave a fair few jobs just before they fired me.

I despaired over my lack of success, as my friends climbed the career ladder I was sliding down the career snakes. I had to re-evaluate my life.

Writing. It came back to that. The one thing I was passionate about, the only thing in fact. But being passionate and actually writing a book are two different things. So I took a low stress temping job and started to create my first work of fiction. It took a fair few attempts but after a while I had a completed novel.

Of course in hindsight that was almost the easy bit. As I sent my shiny novel out to agents and received a huge pile of rejection letters I cried so many times, doubted myself, then got myself a thicker skin and kept going.

I am a believer in persistence paying off. Eventually I did get an agent, and after more rejection a real life publishing deal. The feeling of getting my first book deal was indescribable and what I knew clearly, was that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Twenty fears later, lots of ups and downs, I have stayed with it. The only job that I haven’t quit, the only one I know I’ll never quit. It hasn’t been plain sailing, but I can say, hand on heart that I feel lucky every day to be able to do what I do.

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  1. This is such a great post and such an interesting and inspirational read! Thank you for sharing your story Faith and proving that persistence really pays off. Great post Cora! <3 xx

    Bexa |

  2. Always interesting to read about how people got started in writing. My English teacher always had a lot of work to mark from me. He once gave out a 750 word assignment and said "that's no more than 4 pages Charlotte and more than 1 from the rest of you"

  3. This was such a great post! I'm always heartened to hear of people who don't make it when they're "young" and immediately out of college. Gives hope to the rest of us who are a bit older and still plugging away at it. Hearing about Ms. Bleasdale's journey was lovely. :) I had some pretty awesome teachers growing up, too, who encouraged me (or at least didn't discourage me) when it came to writing, and I always felt that was such a crucial thing.


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