A poor 1970s education and a series of uninspiring English teachers affected my early years. As a result, for a large part of my school ‘career’, I decided I was an English ‘write-off’.
Two things happened to change my lack of belief in myself. 1) A new concept in education ‘Comprehensive’ meant that the predetermined outcome of no route to University was removed! 2) My headmaster, an inspirational character, offered a small group of us extra English support lessons.
These lessons didn’t just improve my English skills, but most importantly taught me to believe in myself and boosted my confidence. The most important ingredient for any writer.
Some of us are lucky. But many of us hold pre-conceived beliefs that prevent our personal development. The following are my top three myths that should be dispelled about our ability to improve our English:
Writers are born
You’d be surprised how often I’ve heard young people say that they believe writers are ‘born’. Like it’s some kind of ‘God-Given’ gift. Here’s the revelation – writers aren’t born – anyone can write! As with anything, passion, and a love of what we do makes a huge difference. All you have to do is learn the basics and then work hard to become better at your craft.
Blank paper syndrome
Everyone suffers from writer’s block at some point. Many famous authors are well documented in their personal challenges. However, don’t let this stop you, as there are many coping mechanisms. The best solution for me is to write SOMETHING… anything. Brainstorming and free-writing can help you free your mind, choose a topic or make a start towards your chosen direction.
Writing is hard
Writing is certainly time-consuming, but this can be confused with ‘hard to master’. However, in time the techniques, understanding of grammar and punctuation, if used enough will become natural. Like anything, it just takes time and practice.
I’ve been lucky enough to work on some amazing projects during my career and it gives me great pleasure to present:
The Open University – Learning Around You – Case Study
Projects like this really touch our hearts and minds so naturally, we were proud to support the Learning Around You project.
VI worked with The Open University to devise a campaign that was aimed at adults who wanted to improve their English and maths skills to gain a recognised qualification.
Research has shown that without these skills and qualifications, the ability to apply for most jobs or take up further study is significantly reduced, as are the opportunities for personal development and career improvement.
This new government funded and backed education programme was aimed at every adult in the UK, to deliver the basic need of reading, writing and math’s skills. VI worked with The Open University and their partners West Herts College, Bedford College Group and Middlesbrough College.
VI delivered the campaign name, brand, photography and a range of collateral personalised for each partner to deliver a promotional toolkit to work both on and off-line.
Do you know a young person who has a vivid imagination, maybe someone who likes to tell stories and always has their head in a good book? These may be the early signs of a great young writer. National Encourage a Young Writer Day is the perfect time to talk to them about their ideas and ambitions and encourage them to pursue or develop their writing skills.