Have you dreamed of writing a novel or memoir?

Have you dreamed of writing a novel or memoir?

What has your writing journey been like?

My writing journey began twenty-five years ago when I moved to Bali and began writing letters to my Mum. Excited by my new life and every daily adventure, I penned hundreds of letters to my Mum, sharing everything. I had no idea she was keeping every letter, storing them in binders and reading them over and over. Five years into my Bali adventure, Mum visited me in Bali and returned my letters in two bulging folders. “Stuffy, use them. There’s a memoir hidden in here.” She stroked the folders as if they were a small kitten. Mum was always my greatest supporter.

Encouraged by her words, I wrote and self-published my first book of short stories, Through My Eyes – Adventures in Bali. I was so proud of this, but every time I read it, I was gripped by disappointment. Realising my writing could have been better, I set about improving my writing skills.

I formed the Ubud Writer’s group and six or more like-minded writers met each week to share and critique our writings.

I undertook writing course after writing course, developing my skills and confidence as a writer.

I wrote every day, using the new skills I had learned.

I devoured all types of books, learning from the talents of published writers.

And I published more books, each one incrementally better than the last.

Never giving up.

And all the time I continued to write for at least a couple of hours each day. Sometimes I progressed a novel I’d been working on, and at other times, I was inspired and started something totally new. My writing continued to improve. As a result, I’ve now got a heap of completed or partially completed manuscripts. They include, The Maiden Aunts, Flying Free on Rainbow Wings, Two Poofs and a Poodle, Under Drought Skies, Three Mums – Six Years, Nothing is Forever, The Look, Because I was Born This Way and Not Again – A gay romance.

So where is this heading?

The time has come to share these skills with other aspiring and advanced writers. Dr Betty O’Neill and I, Steve Castley have teamed up to present writers’ retreats in Bali. The first one is in October, 2024

Dr Betty O’Neill is an acclaimed author, creative writing teacher and professional workshop facilitator. See more here.

Steve Castley is a writer, reader, painter, traveller, dreamer, villa manager extraordinaire and Penestanan local. See more here.

Our first retreat in in October 2024. Why don’t you come and join us? We have scheduled this retreat to occur immediately before the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, so you can participate in our retreat first and then stay on to enjoy the festival.

If this has whet your interest, you can click on the link Writing in Paradise to see all the details.

I hope you join us in October.

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