To celebrate National Writing Day 2021 I caught up with BA Drama and Creative Writing student, Bella Manning, who loves to write and perform.

Take a look at what she’s been getting up to 💭

When did your love for writing begin?

I value the freedom that writing provides because it allows me to fully express myself. I started writing when I was fourteen because my English teacher at the time was very supportive of the creative work I produced in class – that made me fall in love with writing because I finally felt good at something.

Do you find the course you study at Salford has enhanced your passion for writing?

The course has definitely enhanced my passion for writing because I am surrounded by people who encourage and inspire me. Additionally, the course has introduced me to many different writing styles and forms which has allowed me to explore and expand my writing ability. I have some amazing teachers who have been very kind to me. The English department at Salford are so friendly and they have made me feel like I belong somewhere. I couldn’t have got through the past year without their support.

Do you write for fun?

Yes, I absolutely do. In my poetry, I tend to explore my emotions and I write about my view of the world. In other writing, such as scripts and prose, I enjoy writing about queer women because I believe that there is not enough representation of the community. I know that it has improved in the past few years, but I would still like to write about my lesbian identity and capture the essence of what it is like to be a lesbian.

What inspires your writing?

I am naturally a very inquisitive person, so my brain is always working and questioning everything around me. I am also very observant, so I notice a lot of things. This inspires my writing as I get a lot of material just from the way my brain works. In the past year I have become more spiritual, and this inspires my writing too because my spiritual practice manifests itself in every part of my life. 

Are you working on any interesting pieces of writing at the moment?

I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and it has made me more aware of how my brain functions in a complex way. It is something I am trying to see the good in, so, I am working on writing a piece that celebrates my differences. I have also recently started a blog where I will be discussing a range of topics such as witchcraft and gender.

What would your advice be for somebody wanting to become a writer or overcome writer’s block?

Whenever inspiration strikes or you think of a good line, write it down! I have so many notes on my phone from this and they often turn out to be the start of a creative piece. Something which I know writers often struggle with is comparing themselves and their work to other writers (I also struggle with this sometimes). My advice is to remind yourself that everyone has different ways of creating and writing, but that doesn’t make your’s lesser. Everyone has their own style, and everyone has a different journey. You’ll end up where you’re meant to be in your own time. Trust the universe.

Have you any poems you can share with us?


How has lockdown affected your writing, has it inspired your creative practice?

Unfortunately, the first lockdown stunted my creative practice, but that’s okay because other parts of my life needed attention and nourishment. I am in a much better place for it, and as the months went on, I got back into my practice and now I feel more creative and inspired than ever.

How does writing make you feel?

Writing brings me a great sense of peace and freedom. Words are so powerful. Whenever I write, I feel as though I am being seen and heard. I use writing to help me through difficult times as well because it can be so cathartic. 

What are your hopes for the future with your writing?

I hope that I continue writing for the rest of my life! In terms of ambitions, it is my dream to publish a collection of my poems. I’d also love to write and publish a novel at some point. I have an Instagram account @composedbybella for my creative work, if you’d like to keep up with what I am making.