I am proud to have obtained an Honours Degree with the Open University. My last module was called Advanced Creative Writing and at the end of the course, students from around the UK contributed to an anthology of writing completed during the module. This anthology - Stories from Everywhere - was published in paperback and Kindle formats earlier this year.

In addition to contributing a piece of Life Writing called 'Three Ballerinas', I wrote the introduction to the anthology and designed both the cover of the book and its interior. All proceeds from sales of the collection will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support. You can buy the book on Amazon and read a section of it below:

 

There’s an old saying: ‘a builder’s house is never finished’. I know how that feels; I built my first website in 1996, yet only now am I putting together a few pages about myself.

There is a restlessness within me. My mum used to issue dire warnings about what would happen to me if I didn’t learn to relax, while my girlfriend regularly complains that I always need to have projects to work on. She’s right, but then, she’s been putting up with me for so long she probably knows me better than I know myself.

I can’t tell you why I’ve always enjoyed building websites, but it’s something that I’ve come back to several times over the years. It hasn’t always been easy; some of the sites that I’ve built or content-managed in the past took on lives of their own and devoured masses of time. The Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC site, for example, became a massive, sprawling archive of results, match reports and club news. It has been redesigned three times since my first efforts back in 2008 and not all of the original content has survived but it remains a project of which I’m very proud.

But why build a personal site now? Isn’t this just a vanity project?

Well, possibly. It’s also a way to provide backlinks to some of the sites I’ve built recently, which might help those sites become more visible in Google searches.

Most importantly, though, it’s a space where I can celebrate the good things in life, or process the not-so-good things. I’ve just completed a Creative Writing course with the Open University and I want to keep writing. But in order to retain my motivation to write, I need an outlet. This blog gives me that, as well as the freedom to cover any subject I choose.

Over time, this site will change and develop and I hope that I will too. If you’d like to join me on the journey, you’re more than welcome.

© 2018 Gareth Coates