The thought of writing has often entered my head over the years, but I did not have a clue how to approach the process. Working seven days a week in residential real estate sales is demanding in its own right, but balancing family, friends, and husband with work can be a challenge, therefore adding in formal but personal interest study was something I did not consider seriously. 

That changed when I sat next to a friend who is also in real estate at a training session. She had just finished a Diploma in Creative Writing specialising in children’s books and she was so excited about it. A light went on for me. Voila, that was my way to learn the process. I cannot thank her enough.

My career focus has always been business, having studied accounting and general management, attaining a bachelor of business, two diplomas, and an MBA, study is for me been a sort of hobby. In real estate I studied the Cert in Real Estate to be a salesperson then a National Cert in RE to attain Branch Manager registration. Accounting was not stimulating enough for me although it provided opportunities and paid the bills. Real estate gave me the chance to be self-employed with little capital outlay and much needed human interaction as I am very gregarious. I was also able to work successfully in a business partnership with one of our daughters for nearly 10 years.

The NZIBS Creative writing course had everything and much, much more than I expected. Freedom of expression, research, great tutor interaction, stimulating material, a chance to exercise my mind and stretch my imagination together made this a superb course for me. It gave me the opportunity to use my life experience and observations creatively.

I believe everyone has their time to shine, it’s a wise person who recognises their time.  For me, being self-disciplined, having an enormous sense of humour and waking up with enthusiasm every day is the answer to achieving my goals. Nothing is a set-back, everything is an opportunity, it’s my time.

– Valerie Dawn Steven

Graduate of Creative Writing course.