A Fresh Start by guest author Andrew Roberts

My friend and fellow writer ans Swanwicker, Andrew Roberts, has made time to vist the blog to share the remarkably brave changes he has made to his life to advance his writing career.

2018 has been an interesting year for me, with some major changes to my life; I left a full-time accountsjob, paving the way for me to go to university and study a Creative Writing degree.

I’ve been writing as a hobby since Iwas 17, and originally went into accountancy so I could still earnwhile writing. As most employers are more interested in experiencerather than qualifications, I went into an apprenticeship afterleaving school rather than going to university immediately. After qualifying in 2015, I worked a four-day week at a manufacturing firmin Walsall, which left me a dedicated writing day on Fridays.

It was during my time there that I discovered the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School, which made me want to dedicate more time to my writing.

I was laid off from that job at the endof 2016, and subsequently obtained another job in Stoke. At first, itseemed like a stroke of luck, as it was closer to home and higherpaying. Unfortunately, I struggled to fit my writing around thefive-day week, and became depressed by the end of 2017. If your jobisn’t your preferred career and you don’t have any children,there is little reason to spend all of your time there.

I left that job at the end of May. While I was making plans to leave (i.e. making a start on the UCAS application), I left sooner than I had originally planned, but took advantage of this to revise a dormant novelette. In one stroke of good fortune, I contacted the manufacturing firm for a university reference and was re-hired on a limited basis with favourable hours.

I have since moved to Leicester to study Creative Writing at De Montfort University. At the time of writing, I’m coming to the end of my first term, and it’s still one of the best decisions I’ve made. While I haven’t spent as much time on my regular WIPs, I’m using one of the modules to develop one which is out of my comfort zone and have also expanded into poetry.

In addition to the academic side of university to life, I’ve taken up fencing and have re-discovered mylove of laser tag and pen-and-paper roleplaying games through thesocieties. In fact, because fencing fits in with my regular writing, it’s the craziest thing I’ve done in the name of research.

It’s never too late to start over, and no matter how bleak things may seem, you should always look for an out.

Happy writing.


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