A few weeks ago I sent out a newsletter asking writers to share their stories, if they’d be willing show us snippets of their writing lives. Today’s post is Jennifer Russell’s answer to that question.



Keeping my writing alive is the most important thing I do. The best days are those when I start with a list in the same way that I do for other things I want to achieve in a day. There is a great deal of research to indicate that list-makers get more done. So I write on my list; do four drafts on my poem, a new scene on my play, submit a poem to X journal. You get the idea. I cross each item off when it is finished.  I also agree with myself the time I will spend and I write that on the top of my list. If I cannot do anything and am filled with self-doubt, I read. This, after all, is part of being a writer.

The second most important thing is my writing group. We meet every Wednesday for two hours. Cakes are an important ingredient. This weekly artificial deadline is very motivating and on days when I wonder whether I would not be better employed cleaning the windows, it gives my efforts credibility.

Thank you for asking.


Jennifer Russell has had a career in health care and now works part-time teaching Public Health in a university in Cork in the south-west of Ireland. Only now, in her late sixties, is she able to give time and concentration to writing. She has published poetry in several journals and is currently working on a screen play. She set up and co-manages three writing competitions – see www.hungryhillwriting.com