I spent my childhood writing; from almost before I could form my letters but could pick up a crayon or pencil then I was telling stories. It was what I did, as naturally as I breathed. I made books. Tiny slips of paper folded in on each other, carefully designed with stick men and wobbling words and bestowed lovingly and generously as gifts Some still exist, turning up in my parents’ collection of once upon a time treasures, probably now more accurately labelled as junk, every so often.
As I grew older and the world grew bigger and wiser writing somehow stopped being cool. It was old-fashioned, a pastime for weirdos and freaks. I kept writing. Turning out pages after pages of stories. Saving disk after disk of tentative manuscripts. I never met anyone else who wrote. It became a secret, something done on the sly. Guilty, embarrassed. I never shared my efforts. I stopped believing in writing and I stopped believing in myself.
Eventually I stopped. I had no skill. It takes a lot to be a writer, you know, the ‘proper’ kind who gets published. You have to have talent and determination. And self belief and support. I had none of those. It seemed like a waste of time. I wasn’t getting any better or any further.
I’ve been blogging a year. Perhaps I’m not very good at it, maybe I haven’t had a lot to say at times. But along the way I’ve discovered a whole world of writers. People who spent their childhoods scribbling. People who have carried on scribbling.
I have learnt that writing is perfectly normal. It’s not unheard of. It’s not weird. It’s not just me. Lots of other people, perfectly sane, perfectly ordinary, perfectly cool, perfectly fitting in people write. They continue to dream maybe of being a ‘proper’ writer just the same way as we did when we were children. But although that dream may not have yet been fulfilled, they haven’t given up. Life is long, they say, and they plan to enjoy it. Keeping on writing, scribbling here and there, who knows what the future may hold or bring.
There are some amazing writers out there. It’s been a real privilege to meet you in this strange virtual world of words and to see all your incredible talents. I have learnt so much from all of you.
Maybe I’m not as talented as some of you so obviously are but I’m going to keep scribbling.