This is going to be a little tricky to explain. Ironically, the joy that I’ve discovered and experienced through writing is hard to put down into words. I’ll give it a go nonetheless, I think it’s important to try.
What began three years ago on a long car journey through America as a spark of an idea, and which I have since nurtured and occasionally dabbled in, has now grown into a full-time obsession. The main reason for this is simply because for the last three years I’ve been so busy with university and academic pursuits that I haven’t been able to properly dedicate the time to it. There were always essays and dissertations to think about, other books and texts to read, and although I still made time for my writing and managed to get down a fairly substantial amount, it somehow always seemed to occupy the the fringes of my mind, and of my life.
And now I am graduated from university. I have no more essays to think about, nothing academic to write, and very quickly and overwhelmingly, this has become everything to me.
I suppose you could say it’s like falling in love. I think about it constantly and incessantly, even in my dreams. It’s taken over every part of me. I’m finding myself running home to type things out, shaking fingers excited over my keyboard, or else whipping out my iPhone in public places to frantically record whatever I am thinking before it flits away forever.
I’m falling in love with the words and the characters and my book, I’m falling in love with the part of myself which has invented all of this and which still never ceases to bring it alive. But more than that, I’m falling in love with the act of writing. I’m writing about writing, putting pen to paper to try and record the sensation of creating a person, a story, a world, to which I have become completely addicted. I’m writing poetry about writing a book, trying to grasp and convey how much it all means to me. I’m writing this about it. It’s all very meta.
And this has been my life for the past few months, floating in a limbo of ideas and impressions, practically swept away by the pressure which is burning inside of me. Discovering rather worryingly that this has fast become the thing I care most about in the world. And what now? You may ask. What is this crazy writing girl going to do next? And is what she’s writing any good? To answer, I have no idea if what I’m writing is any good. Sometimes I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever read, sometimes it’s awful and I never want anybody to see it. But that’s the creative process I guess. After harbouring this secret for so long, I’ve finally begun to tell people what I’m doing, even asking for ideas and input (although still jealously guarding it lest they take it and rip it apart from me). My mum has promised to be my editor, lucky her. My brother listens to me rant and waffle about it and then tells me all the plot holes to which I reply despairingly, “Nooo, please. No more!” He loves it.
So I want to be a writer. I want to have my work published, I want to see it on the shelves and to have people read and love it, more than I’ve ever wanted anything else in my life. Ambitious? Yep. Naive? Definitely. But to all the naysayers and doubters I have this to say. If anybody looks at me pityingly again and tells me that being a writer is a foolish, ill-advised career choice, with few financial prospects, firstly I shall laugh. It’s all those things and more. It’s also the hardest and most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. But then I shall look at my assailant sadly and shake my head, for they will never feel even a fraction of the happiness I have felt whilst writing.
And that, I think, is about the sum of it all.