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Women Who Write Books: Michelle Mclean

What you need to know about Women Who Write Books

In honour of World Book Day and International Women’s Day, I decided to celebrate women who write books throughout March. 

I held IG lives with women who write books, UK based authors, who shared the process of writing their books. These authors were personally selected and all offer something different – which is important really, as we are all multifaceted people.

I asked about their writing practice, what inspires them, and how they fit writing in around their day-to-day life.

About Michelle Mclean

West Midlands based Michelle is a blogger, a staff writer for a magazine and the author of the short story collection Pay Day and Other Teabreak Tales.

Michelle had an on/off relationship with writing that was always more off than on. It was during her second maternity leave that she decided not just to pick up her pen but to study the craft. So on her return to work, she also started a Creative Writing degree and graduated in 2021 with First Class Honours.

In a fast-paced society, reading is one of the few remaining slow pleasures and in her debut collection of short stories, Michelle offers the time-poor reader a chance to dip into this simple act of indulgence. On her blog, Michelle supports people to thrive during change, by sharing her own stories and experiences.

When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found tucked up with a book, moon gazing or pottering around her plants. Michelle is currently studying MA Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham and is working on her second book.

Q&A Snippet

Who are you and where are you based? 

“My name’s Michelle Mclean, she/her. I’m based in the West Midlands, born and bred. I’ve been writing probably since childhood, but only been calling myself a writer in the last 6 months.”

When and why did you start writing? 

“I probably started writing as a child, the usual things like making up scenarios, writing little stories, writing really dodgy acrostic poems. As I got a bit older, you know, diaries and journals, always writing something.”

What inspired your writing? 

“I’ve always been a storyteller, I’ve always liked to make up my own scenarios and my own characters. I’m also very nosy. I’ll people-watch and I’ll see things, and in my imagination I’ll make up my own stories about people. I’m interested in what makes people tick.”

Tell us about your book 

“This is a collection of short, short stories. The idea behind it came from people commenting on how much I read. I do read a lot. This year so far I’ve read 22 books. And people say, ‘how do you read so much? I’d love to read but I don’t have time.’ So I really wanted to create something that was accessible to people who perhaps don’t read very often but want to.”

How did you make time to write your book, especially around your other commitments? 

“Not always easy. Part of it was because I was studying at the time an undergraduate degree in creative writing. I was also working. Study gave me the committment of deadlines, that allowed me to keep the discipline of showing up for myself and writing regularly. “

What has written this book taught you about yourself? 

“I think it’s shown me what I’m capable of doing. It’s taught me that there’s always another piece of draft you can do. I’ve learned lessons in knowing where I need to draw the line.”

What do you hope people take away from your writing? 

“For my fiction writing, I just want to give them an escape. My non fiction is slightly different, I write on my blog, and I want people to know they are not alone.”

Advice for aspiring authors 

“Have the courage to create, it doesn’t matter who’s reading it, where it’s going, just have the courage to create something.”

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