Today’s post comes from The Daily Post’s Writing Challenge. Why not check it out?
I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. Like most people my age, I grew up with Harry Potter. The first few books were read to me as bedtime stories but after a while, I was the reader. I eagerly awaited the release of each new book, devouring it as soon as it was in my possession. Other books I enjoyed at this time included Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” series.
Needless to say, through this love of reading came a love of writing. Throughout primary school, my friend Phillip and I came up with countless characters – superheroes, mutants, villains, detectives, wizards, etc. We thought that we were creating absolute works of art, but looking back at the drawings, they’re not exactly professional standard! These characters were then written into short stories, comics, everything. This went on for years.
Oh, so Fyreball shot fireballs? Shocking!
Eventually, in fifth class (I would have been 9 or 10 years old), my teacher stopped me after class and told me to stop writing stories about these “silly superheroes”. I was outraged. In my totally sensible 9-or-10-year-old brain, I decided that the best way to deal with criticism was to send my teacher a message, and the best way to send this message was to write a story that featured a murder and had a *scary* cliffhanger ending. My teacher responded to my super threatening message by writing a comment along the lines of “What happens next? Where’s the rest of the story?”
When I turned 13-or-so, the only writing anyone got to look at was work that had to be handed in to a teacher anyway, while my personal writing turned from gripping tales of daring do to angst-filled poems about someone in class not giving me my pencil back, or whatever was bothering me that day. The only poem I remember from my short spell as the next Sylvia Plath was a distinctly worrying ode to a dead badger I saw on the side of the road once. Poetic beauty? Perhaps not. The cringey poetry died off fairly quickly, thank heavens, but I still didn’t really let anyone look at anything I wrote until this summer, when I did a brief stint with my local newspaper (2 published articles, I’m SO VERY FAMOUS).
Still, even if a short summer job with a small town newspaper turned out not to be my big break, it certainly showed me what I wanted to do with my life, writing-wise. I realised that rather than writing stories about murders on trains, or even supercool superheroes, I prefer writing about things that actually happened (whether in my life or in my local area), or my real-life-actual opinions on things that matter (to me). In short, I like being a blogger, and when I finish at university I’m going to do my level best to be a journalist or a columnist or a jourcolumnalist or a mermaid (still not letting “the man” tell me what I can and can’t be).
And even if I don’t get to work as any of those things, and I end up working in a shop until the day I die, I’m still going to write. Yes, it would be pretty great to write for money. But mostly, I write for myself and that is something I can do whether people read it or not. I will keep writing because it is the one thing that interests me above anything else, and because English (reading and writing) is the one thing I’ve ever been good at. And that’s fine with me, because it’s all I need.
Keep reading and writing, I know I will.