I’m currently over halfway through reading One Day by David Nicholls, enjoying it and finding myself relating to Emma a fair amount. Emma gets her degree in English and History but finds herself miserably working in a Mexican restaurant for two years after graduating but having little ambition (similarly to Dexter) I’m two-thirds of the way through my degree and find myself wondering what on earth I’m going to do when I finish – I mean I have ambition, but at the same time I’m not completely sure I want to be a teacher, and Journalism seems tough to get into – do I go into teaching despite not being sure if my heart is in it? If I did become a teacher, I would, like Emma did, not give up on writing and squeeze it in when I can.
There’s a particular chapter (or section in a chapter) in One Day that got me thinking though. The narrator describes how Emma sits and writes with really nice stationary, but then wonders if she’s a real writer because born writers write on the back of bus tickets and suchlike and don’t really care about stationary. This got me wondering if I’m a ‘born writer’. It’s not really about the stationary – I mean I like cute stationary but it’s not the be all and end all to me, but at the same time I’d probably not write on the back of a bus ticket.
And it’s made me think about how I got into writing in the first place. I can remember having varying favoured future careers in mind when I was little (as we all probably did) from singer, to teacher, to doctor, to actress, to writer. My career options now basically come down to Teaching or Journalism. When I was little I used to play with Teacher Barbie and have a pretend ‘class’ with my teddies, but I also used to cellotape pieces of plain white paper together and make up my own magazines, usually being most creative with the front cover.
I don’t think I got into writing creatively until the later stage of childhood though, like I remember in year 5 I wrote a story I was quite proud of about what happened to the Mary Celeste in the Bermuda Triangle because at the time we were learning about the Bermuda Triangle for some reason. I used all the clues about why the ship was found the way it was with all the mysterious circumstances, and my teacher seemed to think it was quite good so I felt encouraged that for once I was good at something (having not really shown much talent for anything else, in fact feeling pretty useless at most things) I wrote some very random little stories in pretty notepads around that time as well, quite girly ones that were basically the sort of stuff Jacqueline Wilson wrote, because I really liked her books back in the day! My writing didn’t get really serious until I was a teenager. I still kept notebooks, and still do now – because I simply prefer writing pen to paper, not straight onto my laptop.
My late Mother was a keen writer too, and I like to think that if I am a ‘real’ writer, I’ve sort of inherited it from her if that makes sense. She also preferred to write quite late at night! I don’t know why, but I write best late at night when it’s nice and quiet and private and no matter how tired I am, if I have a good idea I will get it down. And I love the feeling I get when I know I’ve written something that’s quite good actually! Or at least, while I was writing it I was excited and I could picture what was happening, but the important thing is to make sure that the reader is excited and can picture it. Last night I wrote a really good story but then realised afterwards that I never described what the two main characters looked like! May need to edit that in 😉
Anywho, I hope this post hasn’t been too long and chatty for you, I’m still getting into blogging! I still don’t really know if I’m a born writer, but I am sure that I love writing and it seems like I’m somewhat good-ish at it (I’m on a good writing streak right now) so I know I’ll continue to write regularly no matter what career path I take.