Norwich School Blog

Who Knew – Julie Goodswen, IT Service and Support Manager, is a writer? 

As a community, Norwich School recognises the talent that is widespread throughout pupils and staff alike. To  celebrate this we have introduced a new blog segment, Who Knew, in which we find out about staff members hobbies, passions and talents.

Today we hear from Julie Goodswen, IT Service and Support Manager, on her writing career.


How long have you been writing? 

"I have always loved writing; I just love the written word. I didn’t start writing as an adult until I was in my late thirties. My love of writing was reignited when I spotted an online writing competition. I wasn’t overly confident at the time, so I took a Comprehensive Creative Writing course with The Writers’ Bureau, with a published author as my mentor. The course went very well, and through my successes I rediscovered my love for the craft." 


What is it that you write?  

"While I have an incomplete dystopian novel gathering dust, I also enjoy writing short stories, sonnets or ‘rhyming verse’ poetry. I carry out proofreading via an online platform and, through the same platform, I also undertake article writing and editing work, which only serve to extend my love of the written word.  

My preferred writing genre is dystopian speculative fiction. I am particularly drawn to the exploration of alternative realities and the societal constructs within the genre. I only appreciate it from a creative standpoint and wouldn’t want to inhabit the worlds I create in my mind."  


What inspires you to write? 

"I can find inspiration in the most random of moments. Ordinary scenes can easily transform into extraordinary stories, be it a fleeting emotion or the untold stories I have created by watching people going about their everyday lives. I absolutely love people-watching and must take great care not to stare while I am having silent conversations with possible characters in my mind."  


How does your work at the school impact your writing career? 

"Witnessing the diverse experiences of the people that I know whether through my work or home life, allows me to tap into a myriad of perspectives. As I mentioned previously, I enjoy observing and listening to people far more than I enjoy taking part in many of their conversations.  

Conversely, having a fulltime job does mean that my love of writing only gets my attention at specific times and it is far from easy to open a laptop or notebook and simply start to write just because the clock dictates that now is the time to do so."  


Can you describe some notable moments in your writing career? 

"I won a couple of competitions where part of the prize was to have my short stories included in published anthologies. I have had poems published in anthologies and poetry groups online and I have a blog which contains links to several of my short stories.  

I particularly enjoy the challenge of writing a short story limited to either a specific or maximum number of words. The specific words challenge is more difficult than it might appear. ‘Write a story about an alien invasion using exactly 130 words’ is not easy when numerous ideas begin to flow. 

I have written poems to mark public events (a recent example would be the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabth II) and also to help me through tough times, such as the death of close family members. It is an excellent way to convey and work through my own emotions." 


Which piece of work are you proudest of? 

"I take pride in everything I have written because it is something that I put effort into creating; not just for the finished product but the journey each of my creations represents. Each word, every draft (and there are many), reflects the evolution of my writing skills." 


What are your future hopes in your writing career? 

"I would really love to finish and publish a novel, which would likely spur me on to write another. My unfinished work has been gathering dust for a year or two now and I would need to read through my planning notes and the first draft again to remember exactly where I planned to take it."  


What would you say to any aspiring writers? 

"Embrace your unique voice and perspective. Don’t be afraid to write authentically – it is within your own mind that your strengths lie. Write consistently, even when up against challenges, because every word you put on paper or screen is a step forward. Your writing journey has its own path of curiosity and only you have the courage to explore the depths of your own imagination. It is a journey worthy of your commitment."