Please welcome Jane Bayliss to the Writer's Journey Blog this week with her article entitled "Desired Dreams."
In March 1978 I was born in the mining town of Pontefract, a town situated in the north of England. I have lived on the outskirts of the town for the majority of my life. Except for a small period when I lived in Greece.
When my life was looking bleak I did a Shirley Valentine and ran away seeking excitement. I fell in love with the country and the sun! While I was living in Greece the national football team won the UEFA European Championship. This was an amazing night of celebration, dancing in the streets, fireworks lighting the sky. A night I will never forget meanwhile back home the rugby league team that is close to my heart were battling relegation. I had to be at the deciding game, there was nowhere else I would have rather been. I packed my cases and returned to England. I have resided in my homeland ever since.
I have always been one for celebrating success and encouraging people to chase their dreams. Maybe that’s why I love my job so much. I am employed at a local college as a Learner Support Assistant. I am blessed to work with an amazing team. My job offers so much joy; it is delightful to watch the students strive not only in their education but also in their confidence. I am often heard echoing my life ethos.
“Do not be afraid of the unknown, do not leave chapters untouched”.
I also encourage this ethos to my teenage son, Cayden. Cayden and my husband Mark are big fans of my work and encourage me to chase my dream. It is always beneficial when someone believes in you. Even one supporter can give lots of encouragement and make a big difference.
In October 2020 I joined a poetry website that consists of a small community. I found myself writing and posting daily. Other members would leave feedback. I appreciated good and bad comments as this helped me with my skills. My biggest mistake was my spelling. I was never a fan of the dictionary but now I enjoy searching for alternative words and finding out their meaning.
My native West Yorkshire tongue was also a challenge. I wrote my poetry reflecting the broadness of my accent and without me realising I often included slang or missed words. Hopefully, this bad habit is not visible anymore, or maybe my habit is what makes my work unique. Either way, I am pleased my writing is working and now my audience is growing.
As much as I enjoyed being a member of the website I began to feel that the site was not enough for me. At the time I longed for my work to attract a much wider audience. I joined a busier website but I did not feel the vibe as much as the previous one. The members were negative all the time with very little praise or encouragement. I think I posted about two pieces of work before I deleted my account and moved on. Unsuccessful in finding what I was searching for, I searched for places that offered possible publication.
At the beginning of February 2021, I sent out my first submission. It did get declined but hay-ho never give up chasing your dream. I got into a habit of reaching out to possible publishers and sending at least two to five pieces a week.
On 17th February my poem “Precious Beauty” was published by “Trouvaille Review. Precious Beauty by Amanda Jane — Trouvaille Review. This was my first published piece and at the time little did I know that it was the first of a successful journey. I also continued receiving many rejection letters. I never let them bother me; I concentrated on my upcoming work. Often the rejection was full of praise. They would mention how much they enjoyed my work but it was not the right fit for the rest of their publication.
One piece I was extremely proud of was “A Night To Remember”. I wrote this piece with a publication in mind, but the publisher turned down the poetry. Not to worry I knew it would not be long before this piece found a good home. In fact, it was accepted on the next submission which was to Urhi Publishing for their upcoming retro anthology “The Needle Drops” I am grateful to anyone who reads or publishers my work but Urhi offered me a unique experience, they share their monthly design document with their writers. This document closely outlines the process of the anthology and they encourage their writers to have their say about the process. I contributed to the design of my graphic work that they produced. Urhi is passionate about their writer’s thoughts and feelings. It is an honour to be part of “The Needle Drops”.
Education plays a huge part in my life and my passion shines. At the beginning of this year, I enrolled with The Centre of Excellence to study for a diploma in Poetry Writing. This was an enjoyable course that taught me about the history of poetry. Amongst the other topics were metre and rhythm. In total I studied eleven different modules and amazingly I scored 100% in each module, giving me an overall grade of a distinction. I am hoping that the skills I have learned can be distributed into my writing.
I could speak for hours about my poetry journey but for now, I will leave it here, but I would like to invite you over to my Facebook page. It would be wonderful to have you as part of my journey. https://www.facebook.com/groups/moresuccessfulsubmissionsbyamandajane/
Thank you ever so much for reading my story.
BIO: Amanda-Jane is a new successful experimental poetess; who began writing in October 2020 but did not reach out to publishers until February 2021. And already she has had several pieces of poetry published in online journals. She is a regular contributor to OpenDoor Magazine. Her future looks bright with her upcoming work appearing in several anthologies. She has been invited to the Tablerock poetry festival, Texas, to read her poem, Frozen Doe. Her biography will also appear in the Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2021.
Amanda-Jane experiments with all genres, she also likes to play with syllables and patterns in poetry. She is passionate about her self-learning and supporting others in their education. She works at a local college as a Learner Support Assistant. She has been married to Mark since July 2018 and they have a teenage son named Cayden.
All Amanda-Jane’s successful submission’s can be found on her Facebook page. www.facebook.com/groups/moresuccessfulsubmissionsbyamandajane/