This was my Personal Statement that went along with my application to University:
Ideally I would like to be a full time author, but feel there are a good many reasons as to why this is idealistic – the most pressing reason being financial. However, emerging technologies and changes in traditional publishing mean there are many more ways to exist as a writer. It’s the latter reasons that are convincing me to enrol for a degree and develop both academic and professional skills and gain a better understanding of the cultural shifts which are helping writing reach new audiences.
The core of my motivation is conservation, or crudely “saving the planet” and it is my desire to continue with my voluntary work for this cause. I feel that the more people who get involved with and spread the word about the damage to the planet and ecosystems the better, then there is hope for the future. I have witnessed first-hand the wholesale destruction of rainforests to be replaced by palm oil plantations, something of which the general public is widely unaware.
I have always used writing as a vehicle to spread the word of conservation. I was constantly publishing while I worked in voluntary conservation around the world. This I am continuing to do. If I can write novels and articles for publication and live from this then all to the good for me and more importantly, conservation.
I have a long history of writing. Struggles with dyslexia at school failed to dissuade me from the desire to learn to read and write, though it was indeed a hard road. I have constantly written since. Beyond this there is a desire to look at things differently and an inquisitive nature that shuns the obvious. I have also had many unusual life experiences and seen both the best and worst of people and life and work in various places and cultures in the world such as Indonesia, India, Ecuador and several more.
I am extremely interested in different cultures, the state of our planet and taking a different view. I spent three years in rainforests on a voluntary basis in order to learn more and to try to make a difference, but I realised that one person with no voice makes very little difference. I wish it improve my writing so I can spread the message that counts to the people who want to know. I feel studying at university is what it will take to help me develop an authoritative voice on subjects for which I feel so much passion.
My current work on the access course is the beginning of putting this desire into action. Attending university would not only be about improving my writing but a way to experience and understand more culture. I feel already so much more hope as on the access course I am learning to extract information from articles, learning to research and coming to terms with past difficulties.
I am dyslexic and dyspraxic, having had (unrecorded) tests in 1977 and 1998 with further tests now. I am also looking to be tested for ADHD. I do feel that University was always my course in life, but my learning difficulties held, me back from it as a young man. I have now a wealth of life experience to add to my new found hope and strong desire for education. This is the chance for me to make a difference, both to my life and to others.