Student Profile: Wendy Bartlett06/05/2015 15:38:58


By ACS Student Wendy Bartlett (Writing Fiction)

For me writing is more about the journey than the process. As a teenager I loved to secretly write stories and poems because it made me feel happy and it was a way of expressing myself. But a feeling of self doubt kept me from pursuing writing as a career option.


I spent the next fifteen years working as a bank clerk, veterinary nurse, a mature aged university student, a horticulturalist and most importantly, a wife and mother of two children. With more time on my hands as my children grew older I found myself attracted to working from home and this is when I decided to pursue my love of writing by enrolling in the Fiction Writing course offered through the Australian Correspondence School (ACS).


My tutor Tosca, through tutorials and practical assignments encouraged me to explore different aspects of fiction writing which helped me to realise my strengths and weaknesses.


I began to enjoy writing a criminal short story which was something I never thought would interest me. Tosca’s constructive comments gave me a sense of pride in my work while giving me the encouragement I needed to improve my writing as I worked through other writing projects.


I continue to educate myself by reading as many writing reference books I can find while searching the internet for information and inspiration. I particularly enjoy sites where other ‘would be’ writers post their fiction writing and their experiences with what it’s like to live each day as a writer.


By the end of the course I’d begun my first young adult novel which I went on to complete, although it went through many phases before I typed the words, ‘The End’ and it’s still a work in progress. Only half way through the second draft, it will be some time before I’ve finished the final draft and consider it ready for publishing. I wouldn’t have made it this far if it wasn’t for Tosca’s help.


I have since completed a correspondence Journalism course and have had several articles published in animal and self sufficiency magazines. Seeing my name in print has definitely been a highlight in my writing career so far.


With a renewed confidence I’ve begun my second young adult novel which discusses the issue of a teenage girl who discovers she has epilepsy just as her soccer career is about to take off. During the course of the novel she has to deal with alienation from her peers, an overprotective mother, betrayal by her best friend, boyfriend issues and the chance she may never realise her dream of playing soccer for Australia.


I understand it will take hard work, perseverance and dedication to realise my dreams of becoming a published novelist. Sitting at my computer every day and tapping away at the keys is the only way it’s going to happen. Gone are the days of daydreaming about finishing that novel while dunking chocolate biscuits in piping hot coffee and watching any decent teen flick I can get my hands on. Who am I kidding – I can multi-task and there’s always ‘break time’ to dunk away.