School of Cultural Studies and Humanities

Intro to me: Tess Cullinan

I am a writer and a student. For years now, my passion has been Creative Writing, but it is only after being able to study this at Leeds Beckett that I have given myself the label of writer.

Before this the title intimidated me. I've written endless words, filled many pages, but I'm not published, I don't make money, so am I really a writer?

I think the answer is yes.

I'm currently in the second year of my English with Creative Writing degree. Over the past 13 months I've written short stories and poems, drafts and redrafts, commentaries, self-evaluations and everything in between. None of that really matters though. If you are writing, crafting words into stories, poems, little forms of art, then you are a writer.

It doesn't always feel natural to praise your own work, but I believe it is important to find what you’re proud of and appreciate that. For me, the biggest change since starting this course has been my poetry. I used to find poetry daunting, an intimidating sophisticated form of writing that was very distant to what I believed my own writing was. After the Intro to Poetry module my view of what a poem had to be shifted.

Now I write poems almost every day. It’s a way to clear my head, express my creativity and most importantly experiment with words. For first year I formed a poetry collection that I am proud of. It was the first time I had to consider my poems in a more professional form. I redrafted and refined my poems until I was happy and proud to submit them for the assignment.

I feel very privileged in being able to persue my passion through my degree and hopefully take it into the professional setting post-graduation. Ultimately, I want to continue writing for the rest of my life and exploring where it takes me.

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