Some people are born with a natural love of stories. When I was little, we had an old, wheezing computer that probably weighed more than a small elephant. Before I could even read, I’d find the logo belonging to the text application and open up a document, smashing the keyboard with my chubby hands. I’d prattle away, telling myself stories and pretending to be a real writer.
Afterwards, I’d drag my mum back to the computer and ask her if she could read it (even though I knew it was jibberish). This was just an excuse so I could tell her the story I’d thought up in my mind.
And then as soon as I could read, you’d never catch me without a book. I had some favourites I’d read over and over and over again, such as ‘Mandy’ by Julie Andrews.
Originally, I’d borrowed it off my second grade teacher. It was very old, with slightly yellowed pages, and the plastic cover was starting to crack. I’d read it, and when I got to end, I’d flip it over to the front page and begin again, because I loved the way it made me feel. It was about a young girl who felt out of place in her orphanage and found a cottage. She fell in love with it, spending all of her afternoons there, weeding and planting seeds, cleaning it from top to bottom. It was her haven, and the most beloved place to her in the world, where she felt she truly belonged. To me, reading was my cottage.
When my mum told my teacher how many times I’d read it, she said I could keep it. I still have it to this day, although it’s in my big bookcase back in Australia, whilst I’m over in Sweden. Most of the books I have are very sentimental to me for reasons such as this. When I think back to different books, I can remember how I felt when read them, and what kind of refuge they became to me.
Books drew me in, as a child with an imagination too vast to contain in one small head. I daydreamed a lot, and the other kids didn’t always understand what went on in my mind. I was also self-conscious because I was bigger, so with these factors combined, I just felt different. I was known as the reader, the writer, the nerd – and I was proud of that identity, despite how it separated me from others. It felt right, because it was true to who I was.
My librarian became my best friend, and she fostered my love of writing by encouraging me, and giving me challenging reading materials.
My teachers in primary school made me feel like being a writer was something I could achieve, and told me they’d be waiting for the day they saw me in print – I hope to one day fill those expectations, although now I’m probably far from the little girl they knew, with a long blonde ponytail and chubby cheeks (to be fair, my cheeks are still quite chubby).
Not only did my librarian become my best friend, but the characters I read about in books became my comrades too. They were greater than any of the kids I’d met in real life, going through either similar struggles to my own, or on exciting quests I could only dream of. I didn’t have many wild adventures as a child, but I have vivid memories from this period of my life. I see princesses and frogs, knights dueling each other, witches, magic and dragons.
To me, that’s the greatest magic of storytelling. It takes something lifeless: a stack of pulp and ink, and it becomes something that’s real in your mind. It takes you to new places, which only exist behind your closed lids and in that big brain of yours. Books have affected and stayed with me far more than any movie I’ve ever watched, because they become ingrained in your mind. They’re an experience, even though you remain seated in a chair.
The best stories are those that leave information in the white lines, where each individual can put their twist upon the events.
In the hard times of my teen years, books never wavered in supporting me. Whenever I felt down on myself, or wished to be somewhere else, I could slip away between their pages.
Despite this love for the written word, I began to doubt my own future as a writer. The amount of people who would love to be a successful full-time author, versus the number of those who are, is probably a very staggering leap. I started to believe it was just impossible, and I should focus my efforts on something else. I pushed my writing aside in favour of school work, and lost my passion for imagining. I felt crushed by the expectations of going to university and finding a practical career, one with a greater chance of ‘guaranteed success.’
As I mulled it over, I started to believe less and less in the idea of ‘guaranteed success.’ What I do believe in is passion, because passion equals drive. I feel incredibly driven to be a writer, and I’m doing everything I can to learn as much about the craft as possible – plus all the extra research into publishing and marketing.
But, the idea of spending an equal amount of time and energy into another field I don’t love seems abhorrent. To some people this other career path of ‘guaranteed success’ may be their dream job – and if you were to pit our efforts against each other? The person who wanted it more would always win; so for me, it may not be successful.
So I thought: why not pursue the thing I love? What is stopping me?
And the only answer I could find was myself.
That’s why I’ve started this blog: so I can share my journey, and all the silly thoughts, struggles and helpful tips I find along the way.
I write because I love to read. I write to influence others with my writing, in the same way I’ve been influenced. I will read and write until I die, because I feel if you are given something in life that sets your soul on fire it must be a sin not to pursue it.
Although this has been sort of a rambly post, I hope you guys have enjoyed my little reminiscence about why I write, and what I hope to achieve as a writer. My future posts will probably have more clearly structured themes and ideas, and if you have any requests, please let me know. I’m still new to this blogging thing, but bear with me while I get the hang of it!
In not too long I hope to publish a short story to Amazon so you can get an idea of my writing style and hopefully I’ll receive some useful feedback. If you want to be notified of any new releases from me, please subscribe in the form at the bottom of this page! You can also contact me in the form under the ‘Contact’ tab up above if you have anything you’d like to talk to me about, or if you just want to be friends!
Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my blog. I hope you have a great day!