Becoming a Writer – what I learnt

I was lucky enough to be on the The Asian Writer’s ‘Becoming a writer’ course early last year, at a time when I had realised I wanted to write, but didn’t know how to be a writer. The course was perfect for me, 12 very structured and comprehensive weeks that took me through recognising what was holding me back, through how to structure a story to editing a finished piece. I loved the concept of Artist’s Dates and replenishing my creative well, and I met some fantastic fellow writers through the course who are some of my greatest cheerleaders and inspirations now.  Farhana even introduced me to one of the other writers who she felt was experiencing the same issues as me, and we are now critique partners. It helped me realise where my strengths as a writer lay and what areas I needed to work on. 

The things that really helped me were the morning pages-I got to work through a lot of the issues that writing had brought to the surface for me, like was I qualified enough to be a writer or what would my family say. There were so many practical strategies that I still use now 18 months later, such as finding the time in my day to write, watching people to help my character descriptions, and an editing checklist.

The course gave me a huge boost to my confidence when I was close to giving up writing, and it made me feel that I could find a place for my writing. I won a Creative Future Literary award last year, and I am currently one of the London Libraries Emerging Writers. I also now am on the editorial team for Flashback Fiction, a journal that’s actively looking for the voices of underrepresented writers.  It feels great to now be in a place where I can show marginalised writers like myself that their writing is necessary.

Anita Goveas is British-Asian, based in London, and is fueled by strong coffee and paneer jalfrezi. She was first published in the 2016 London Short Story Prize anthology, and most recently in former cactus, Litro, New Flash Fiction Review, Porridge, and Longleaf Review. She tweets erratically @coffeeandpaneer

Applications for the 2020 Becoming a Writer Course are now open.