Hands up if you’re one of those writers that doesn’t actually write.  

Be honest. You love the idea of writing, you follow writers on Instagram, you read about other people who write, maybe you subscribe to literary newsletters and websites like this one, but actually writing? You’ll get round to it. One day.

I am a writer who doesn’t write. At least, I was until very recently.

I was always envious of the ‘real’ writers I read about, people who never have their heads out of their work, dedicated to the core, passionate about storytelling and have something to show for it. 

The closest I came to this was as a five year old, proudly waiting to present my hand written story in show and tell… only for Karl from year two to point out that my protagonist changed gender from page to page. Needless to say, I kept my story to myself and didn't really write after that.

So last year I decided to do something about it. 

I set myself a challenge: write for one hour a day.

 Just one hour seemed achievable but still, I created a ‘reward chart’ for myself, I’m not even joking! A month filled with little writing ticks equaled a new book from Amazon. And do you know what? It worked. 

Finding the right time of day to squeeze in my writing hour was crucial too. I don’t know about you but I have always struggled with writing guilt.

Should I really be writing when there is a door frame to gloss and a garden to mow? 

So, morning it was, one hour before work every day. It’s surprising how quickly you can get into a rhythm when it becomes part of your everyday routine.

It must be said I didn’t write very well. I wrote a sentence, deleted it. Wrote another, deleted that too. But after a whole year of sticking to my ‘just one hour a day’, an unrelated opportunity presented itself at work. A part-time position became available and the cogs started whirring. Could I go part time? Drop my hours at ‘real work’ and instead write at home all day, like a ‘real’ writer?

A little impulsively I took the plunge. Signed on the dotted line and said goodbye to half of my hours… and half my wage. What could possibly go wrong? I could just about cover my mortgage and I would live off cheese and toast – I did it as a student so why not do it again?

So here I am today. Granted, I’m a little sick of cheese on toast now but I am still writing and I LOVE it!

I decided to document my journey into attempted authorship and created ‘KK’s Diary’ on Instagram. I wanted to be honest about the struggles and the self-doubt that comes with it all, but also to inspire any other people to just have a go.

So, if you are a ‘non-writing writer’ I urge you, get involved, do it with me! 

Start with just an hour a day and in a few months, a year, two years, we may have perfectly polished stories, best-sellers, we may be the next JK Rowling… 

Or we may just have a lot of words that nobody wants to publish. That’s the reality.  

But do you know what, let’s give it a bloomin’ good go.


Kayleigh Keam works as a Writer and Director at CBeebies, regularly writing scripts for Television and Radio for children under six. She also compiles a shortlist of picture books submitted by publishers for CBeebies Bedtime Stories. Kayleigh recently took the plunge into attempted children's authorship, cutting her hours at the BBC to concentrate on a very different type of writing.  Follow her journey on Twitter and Instagram #KKsDiary