Graduate Blog

Finding My Voice


From the moment that my father read me stories from the likes of Roald Dahl, Beatrix Potter and Enid Blyton, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to inspire other people in the same way that those books inspired me. With the guidance of my friends and family I made the decision to study Creative Writing at university. I was aware that the industry was hard and the path to success was paved with rejection and disappointment, but I wanted to give it a go. Now that my university experience is almost coming to an end and I will be graduating in July, I feel like I am finally the person that I wanted to be.

After my three years at Edge Hill studying Creative Writing I believe that it was definitely the right choice for me. It may not be a prestigious Law degree but when I get my certificate it will be a result of all of my hard work over the past three years. I urge all creative people to take the same leap as myself and go confidently in the direction of their dreams. Of course I still worry about the security of a career as a writer and I know that I will have to find a part-time job that will pay the bills but I am confident in my talent for words. If you have a passion for something, why should you let the harsh realities of life dampen that ambition?

If you are certain that your talent will take you places then never give up on it, don’t settle for a boring nine-to-five because you are afraid to take the risk. I am one voice in a sea of people, fighting for my voice to be heard and one day it will be. I have to believe that. JK Rowling failed continuously before Harry Potter was published, Einstein’s teachers were convinced that he would never amount to much and Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he lacked imagination. All of these people are known for their successes but they failed many times before they reached their goals, so remember that failure is never an option. Never give up on your passion, no matter how hard the journey becomes.

University is one of the hardest, scariest and most challenging times of a young person’s life. There have been many ups and downs during my university experience but I wouldn’t change a thing. For those who are thinking about exploring their creative talents and studying it in further education, I say go for it! You have nothing to lose. There are those intolerant people that feel strongly about the lack of credibility with creative degrees. Don’t listen to them. Choose the degree that is right for you. We live in a world that is driven by words. There is nothing more powerful in our society than language. Every time you pick up a newspaper, read a book, listen to a song or even watch a television show, remember that someone has written that. Without writers, everything we know would not exist. Writers are just as important to society as lawyers and mathematicians. There are jobs out there for writers, you just have to dig deep to find the right one for you.

If you are thinking about being a writer and you need a confidence boost, I recommend that you apply for a Creative Writing programme or enrol yourself on a degree course. I can’t promise you that it will guarantee you a book deal or a secure lifestyle but you will learn so much and you will most likely become the writer that you have always wanted to be.

About the Author

Emma-Jane Barlow Emma-Jane Barlow

My name is Emma-Jane Barlow and I am currently in my last year at Edge Hill University where I am studying Creative Writing. During the past three years I have found my voice as a writer and I am now looking to find my place in the industry. One day I hope to be a novelist and see my book sitting on a Waterstones shelf. In the meantime, I am working as a freelance writer alongside my studies. In my spare time I make my way through the unread section of my bookshelf, drink lots of coffee and try to stay sane as I write two novels. My brain never stops spinning and my fingers never stop typing. Some may say I am crazy, but I’m a writer, I live for the insanity.

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