A Year On: Written by HMP Resident

It’s been one hell of a fantastic year!

For the past 12 months, I have been involved in a creative writing group run at HMP Peterborough. When I first started, I felt shy and uncomfortable.

I’ve always had a passion for writing, but I never felt I actually had any skill.

Through PoetsIN and the tasks and challenges set, I’ve not only found I have a talent and flair for prose, I have also found my voice.

My self-esteem has soared and now I feel like the sky’s the limit.

Poetry – there was no way I was going to enjoy that.
True life – I never had the urge to tell my story.
Fiction – Didn’t think I could put down my ideas on paper.

Yet a year later, I excel.

Year on

For me, learning new techniques and styles of writing has helped me to express my feelings, deal with the unknown, and beat my demons of self-harming.

Oh, I dip in and out of these negative, dark places; I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. But the gaps of desperation and feelings of hopelessness are few and far between.

All of the work that is posted online on my behalf gets the most amazing feedback – of which I get a copy.

The words I read from my readers bring on more encouragement, tips, and advice than I ever thought I’d get. I expected criticism and belittling words at my perceived failures. I get the opposite of both.

I have now got a book deal, the chance of a lifetime. To write a novel and get it published is a heck of a challenge and I’m loving every second of it. The opportunities on offer to me, push and drive me towards working hard to get my parole.

Before all of this, I couldn’t have cared less about a future I never thought I had.

A Year On

I’m now in a different prison, and through the grace of the gods, I can still write and get my work over to you.

I finally realise that I am worth more than rotting away behind bars. I have a purpose and can share with the world all that I can offer.

Every day I thank Sammie and Paul for coming into HMP Peterborough. I thank those who are dedicated to reading my words each week.

Every task I get, I put my all into it. I sit at my table, day in, day out, planning the next page, the next thought I can put on paper.

No longer does the razor blade speak for me upon my skin. The pen in hand calls me day and night.

I have been given a wonderful chance here and I have embraced it with open arms.

Bring on the tasks; let me enthral you with my mind.

No matter how cramped my hand gets from all of the writing, I will still go on. Because I am someone of worth.

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