Families are pre-programmed to have your best interests at heart. But when these good intentions clash with your own desires, arguments are bound to erupt. I don’t mean to convey myself as a grumpy teenager, but I often feel my ambition to become a writer is misunderstood by my family. They only see the bumps along the path, but I’m focused solely on the view from the top.
In my mind, being a writer is the sole option. I yearn to become a successful children’s fiction author. Writing is the only activity that fevers my brain and feeds my heart. I’ve pictured myself achieving this dream many a time, a comforting notion on nights when sleep is hard to capture. I am working towards my goal, enrolling on a specific University course to further aide my dreams. I am funding this myself through my work at Cath Kidston, because it’s what I want to do, therefore I’m the one who pays for it. Even when I’m tired and down, the thought of The Dream pushes me forward.
But is this fanciful thinking? I sit in classrooms full of people who mirror my ambition. Even some of the tutors don’t complete their own goals. The realm of storytelling is cut throat, it’s not an easy industry to break into. But it does happen, stories do get published. Authors do attend book signings and book festivals. It’s not just a dream, hard work can bring it into reality. But still the nagging voice asks such difficult questions – have I got it in me to fight for my work? Will my stories stand out in a pile?
I have no answers to these questions yet, and I try to avoid doubt where possible. But I am instilling a practice that we all learn as children.
You have to try new sports and new foodstuffs to find what you like. You have to try all sorts of new things to gather experience and knowledge. You have to try to secure good grades. You have to try in order to accomplish anything, it all involves effort. You have to give it a damn good go before you turn your back on something that could potentially unlock great happiness. Some people might walk away from the ladder, claiming that it is too high. I want to make it up a couple of rungs, at least.
This is my first step on the ladder. A note to say my short story competition entry has been accepted. I won’t win, but having a complete stranger read something I wrote is a true thrill. Fingers crossed.