Watch the video: British woman only learned to read and write at the age of 39 – now she is an aspiring author.
The story of Karen Woods sounds almost like a fairy tale: until the British woman is 39 years old, she can neither read nor write properly. Then she learns it in a literacy course and then discovers writing novels for herself.
Today she is 53 years old and has written 27 novels in the last 14 years. Her latest novels are even published by the major British publisher HarperCollins.
Original sound: “Through my employer I attended an adult literacy course. That course changed my life. Not only did I come away from there with being able to read and write, I come away with a dream. A dream of becoming an author.”
“At the age of 39 I had difficulties with reading and writing. I took part in an adult literacy course through my employer. This course changed my life. I finished the course not only with the ability to read and write, but also with a dream. A dream to become an author.”
But how did it happen that Woods could not read and write for so long?
At the age of 15, Woods unexpectedly got pregnant and dropped out of school. In the seventh month she gives birth to a stillborn baby. Due to absenteeism and concentration difficulties, she was unable to read or write very well until she left school. From now on she works as a cleaning lady. When she is 39 years old, she is offered a promotion. For the new position, she would have to write emails. So her employer sends her to a literacy course.
Writing becomes a hobby for the 53-year-old:
“People ask me how I write, do I have a storyboard? Do I plan all my stories? And the answer is no. I get my laptop from upstairs, I plunk myself on the sofa, the TV is on, the family is just doing what they do around me. And I just go into this world where all these characters come to life.”
“I love the feeling that I get from when I write. It’s my relaxation time.”
“People ask me how I write. Do I have a storyboard? Do I plan all my stories? And the answer is: no. I get my laptop upstairs, I flop down on the sofa, the TV is on, the family is just doing what they’re doing around me, and I’m immersed in this world where all these characters come to life.”
“I love the feeling I get when writing. It’s my relaxation time.”
Karen Woods still works as a cleaner and as a mother takes care of her children. She also works with students and gives lectures to inmates.
With her story, Woods specifically wants to inspire women over 40 to follow their dreams.