What Made Me a Writer – Writing in Secret

Serina Hartwell - Author

Serina Hartwell – Author

The need to write was getting stronger, all the while – I couldn’t deny it any longer.

Once I had discovered that I could write, it was like Christmas day, every day. Suddenly, I was making great progress and I could see my achievement across my page. Naturally the first thing I wanted to do was to share my new discovery with my fiancé, Matt, so I did. We left the house one evening, shortly after my discovery and walked up to our local pub for a drink without the kids. Life for us was already starting to change as our children were growing up and becoming independent of us, we could finally do a simple thing like that, without getting a babysitter, something that had always been in short supply when the kids were little. So with our new found freedom we took a trip out of the house for an hour.

I remember walking up our very steep hill, struggling to keep up with him and bursting with the excitement of my news. I couldn’t wait to get there to tell him, because I knew that what I had discovered was life changing. I had a new beginning, something to pick me up out of the rut I had found myself in. So off we went and soon arrived. We bought our drink and found a nice secluded spot in the bar area and I couldn’t wait any longer. Out the question, “How would you feel if I became a writer?” poured. I looked at him, searching his face for an answer, completely elated at my new beginning and slowly watched his face as negativity choked it. “No!” came the answer.

There was no time taken to think about it, no consideration for the excitement I was bursting with, a simple ‘no’ finished the conversation there and then. I have to tell you that although I may not have shown it, I was pretty devastated. I remember my insides wanting to curl up in a foetal ball and hide from the world. I suddenly felt on display, like the whole pub had heard and were watching my inner crisis. Of course no one had heard, nor were they interested, but there it was, my dream screwed up in a ball and thrown across the room along with my excitement and self-esteem. If you’ve ever had a long night, it’s probably nothing compared to that one. I couldn’t let him see how hurt I was. I had to sit there and be entertaining, but inside all I wanted to do was cry my heart out.

I know my fiancé, and at the time I knew that no meant no. There wasn’t any point arguing with him, it would have been a waste of my time and energy. Pleading was demeaning, so I resigned myself to forgetting the dream and to getting on with my career that was going nowhere. You see, at the time I had worked tirelessly for a promotion at work. I worked all my evenings and weekends, late into the night. I stayed back and worked an extra two hours on top of my working day that I wasn’t getting paid for, nor acknowledged for, to get a department up and running for my employer, but when it came to promotion, I was passed up in favour of another. This reality check hit me hard. I suddenly saw how I had been used. I had been looking for something special to do with my life since leaving school. I’d worked in numerous sectors, trying lots of different jobs and careers, but nothing had ever satisfied that need. This job was the closest I had been to achieving it. I knew that commitment to work wasn’t the problem, nor was skill, I was simply on the wrong path. I needed to get on the right path, to be doing the thing that I was supposed to be doing with my life. This new career direction I’d been forced into was the catalyst I needed for change.

If I could work that hard for someone else, then surely I could turn that around and apply those same attributes to a project of my own. I had never needed to leave a job as much, in my life before. I loved the people I worked with, but I needed a job that was fulfilling. Yet my fiancé had told me not to be a writer for a living, so I had a huge conflict. I was torn.

Days went by, I had put the writing aside and tried to distract myself, ignoring the urge inside me to continue, but no matter how hard I tried, everything came back to writing. It was all I could think about – my mind was bursting with images. I went off my food, everything became tasteless; every task at work that I’d seen as a new and exciting challenge, became monotonous and boring, or just another problem to solve. I could see no future with this employer. There was nothing to work for, nowhere for me to aspire to, but I had a mortgage and bills to pay and the recession had hit hard – there were no jobs. So I stayed with my employer, keeping my head down and hoping for a way out of my situation, but couldn’t really see a way out with the recession.

The need to write was getting stronger, all the while. I couldn’t deny it any longer and the old adage, ‘when one door closes, another one open,’ circled in my mind, over and over. So I sat at my desk and reassessed my career expectations. I knew that I no longer had a career, I had a job now.

Trapped, I slowly began to question myself. From the summer of 2010, all the way through 2013, was like living in hell for me. I had given all I could and had done my best at work, so the problem then must surely lie with me, but they were still coming to me for all the answers.

I have to admit that the night at the pub, hadn’t deterred me for long. I love my fiancé, but I have always had the ability to see where we needed to be further down the line. With everything that was happening at work, I knew from the start that I could never come back from what they had done to me, so I had to move forward. He didn’t understand just how bad things were for me, because I tried to shield him from as much as I could and deal with it on my own. Reinvention was my only way forward.

The urge to write had become so strong that I couldn’t resist it any longer. Deep down, I knew that this was my way forward. I didn’t know what was driving me in this direction, but I had never experienced anything so powerful in my life before and knew I couldn’t ignore it. So I did something that I am quite ashamed of now, and started writing in secret, even though I knew that he wouldn’t support my new direction. If nothing else, I had reached a point in my life where everything was a ‘no’ anyway. Anything I asked for, I got one blanket answer – NO! The only person who could change that was me and I had to try, so every spare minute I had, I got my laptop out and I wrote as much as I could.

I was beginning to realise that I was in the company of other writers, some more successful than others, so I could see first-hand that there was a way of making an income from it. Slowly, Hidden started to take shape and I knew that I had the foundations for a book. I had to stand back a few times and shake myself, because I had no idea where this stuff was coming from, but once I had opened that gate, everything started pouring through. The tidal wave of creativity shows no signs of slowing down today and I know in the long run I made the right decision, but at the time I couldn’t deny that Matt was suspicious.

One day we sat down and he came right out and asked me if I was having an affair. I had to laugh. He had watched me on the computer, typing away and assumed the worst. I had never been so happy to put him straight about something. I showed him my book and asked him what he thought. He never gave me a direct answer, but from that point on, I never wrote in secret again. He has supported me all the way.

As I run the two careers side by side, very few people at work know that I am a writer and author and have been since that hot sunny day in August. I look back at the hell I have been through since I got sick and can now cherish this time. I have let go of many of my responsibilities at work. I now plough this time into my own venture. Sometimes the tower has to crumble to give us a new beginning. If none of it had happened, I would have still been doing the same job, probably for many years to come. With a publishing contract signed, and my first book about to be released imminently, I am still there, working at the same place. I can hear the gasps now, as you read this, especially after they treated me so badly. I knew, however, that if I was going to get my writing career off the ground, I needed to focus just on that. Applying for other jobs and the prospect of retraining and starting again from scratch, were taking the focus and my energy away from the writing, so I’m running the wheel and working toward a new goal – To be a full-time writer and author.

Serina Hartwell – Author of The Hidden Saga


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The History of Hearts

The History Of Hearts

The History Of Hearts

The things she never knew were left

Behind her the past that travelled so quickly

Like a speeding train it sped right by her

Never knowing what his heart wanted to impress

Peace will find him, but not for a while

The young girl on the platform waves goodbye

Her raincoat glistens in the darkness

Caught in the stormy rain

Forever searching to find that girl

She never ventured back

An opportunity lost, two lives changed forever

History, life, tracks, laid to the past

But fate isn’t finished yet, the tale isn’t told

For fate has another card to play

Light shines on the platform of the darkened evening

Once more she stands and waits

To hear his words, his feelings conveyed

Two lives on separate tracks

One story complete, a happy ending relayed

Life’s train delivered her back

For he waited and searched for his girl on the train

To ask her for her hand

He told her all those long lost words

The words she longed to hear

But time doesn’t wait and life keeps moving

A story beckons on

Life needs to keep pursuing adventure

While adventure carries on

He stands on the platform and waves at the woman

Who stands before him now

A smile on their faces, a heart in their hand

They travel off to separate lands

Regret for a day of untold feelings

A longing left to wait

For waiting left them to wonder forever

The history of two hearts

By Serina Hartwell

Author of The Hidden Saga


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The Wheel


The Wheel

The shutters are down

The air is thin

I search my heart

But I know not where to begin

I cannot settle east

I cannot settle west

I need a break of fortune

To offer me some rest

For where my heart is taking me

My talent can be pursued

But conversation fights me all the way

And persecutes my will

My strength is waning within me now

I fight to keep my way

I know not which direction I should take

To turn, to break away

I run from the wheel that grinds me down

The one that bears on me

I keep my tender straight and true

And head for freedom’s light

By Serina Hartwell

Author of The Hidden Saga


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The doorbell rang this morning
A princess she came calling
She swaddled me in love and kindness
Those blue eyes looked to me

She asked me for a favour
A cat she did want near her
We took a journey step by step
To find her stripy prize

She climbed up slowly, step by step
To find her destination
Big boots aloft, she climbed up high
Mount Everest we were bound

She neared the top and called ‘pussy cat’
‘Pussy cat where are you?’
Her prey stayed low and hid there too
She didn’t like her guest

Big eyes befell me, green and black
Blue eyes did follow suit
They looked to me to offer hope
That their true dreams wouldn’t elope

I looked upon them quickly now
My glance shot from one to the other
My heart strings pulled from my chest
As sense abandoned me

A brother’s call rang proudly
A brother’s call rang true
The pussy cat hunt stalled fast
And green eyes thanked me too

The shaking did stop quickly
The pursuit abandoned now
Blue eyes took me somewhere new
To chase her a new prize through

Her blonde curls did bound all the way
As the cat got to live another day
Curiosity took her somewhere new
To see some chickens, all bright and new

By Serina Hartwell
Author of Hidden The Hidden Saga


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Oh child of mine, you suffered
In your plight to make it to my side
To walk, to sing, to dance among the flower
To be held so tightly, so loved, so longed for

Lost before your journey’s end
Taken back to the heavens and the stars
My loss breeds mourn for your tender heart
To walk among the souls

I feel you close to me, my tender child
You came to me and beckoned
To love you more, a love so true
I touch your essence longing for more

My heart is missing the piece that is you
That belongs in its tender embrace
My heart goes out searching, lost, withdrawn
And waiting for your grace

My heart holds dear, for the day we meet
On heaven’s planes it shall wait
Listening for your affectionate whisper
Until reunited we will be

By Serina Hartwell
Author of Hidden The Hidden Saga

If you like my work, tell a friend. Thank you for your support.