Some thoughts on writing

Barbara Haworth-Attard

A student asked me some questions about how I came to be writing and I thought other readers might be interested in my answers.

I’ve always had a love of words and visited our town library every Saturday. My Mom would actually tell me to stop reading and go outside and play. I also kept diaries from the time I was ten years old. But writing was never considered a career way back when I was a kid. 🙂  (I’m 59 now.) So after grade 12 I left school and worked as a file clerk in an insurance company, but I always kept writing. Even when I was supposed to be working, I’d be writing short musings on the day, etc. I had my first poem published by the Toronto Star when I was 13, on the teen page of the paper. I got married at 19 (still married to same guy!) and had two boys and worked and raised them, and kept writing, especially stories for the boys. Then one day I decided to send one off to a magazine and it was accepted. That was in 1993. My first book came out in 1995. I actually worked as a secretary in a law firm, took care of my family and wrote my first six books. I worked for about a year on Dark of the Moon, and it was accepted b y the first publisher I sent it to, a small Montreal publisher called Roussan. I was very fortunate.


I would suggest to writers to join a critique group – which I did. Put your ego aside and don’t think everything you write is wonderful because it probably isn’t. But there is always a nugget in a story that is wonderful. Listen to editors. I was so grateful to have an editor help me with my books, and I still am as I didn’t get an opportunity to go to school to learn the craftsmanship of writing. And that is where reading came in handy. To see how stories are put together.

I learned mostly to be true to myself. Write what I write best and don’t be swayed by the current trend.