I write because that’s what I do.
I’ve never seen it as wildly romantic or wondrously special. It’s just what I do: part of me, like being tall and having dark hair. Or breathing, I suppose. Perhaps that’s because I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. As far as I knew, everyone did it. Or they could if they wanted to. I just happened to like writing better than playing hopscotch or riding my bike, and there was no question in my mind that when I grew up, that’s what I’d do. All the time, along with eating chocolate éclairs. I’d write.
By now, I could probably roll out a full-bellied psychological blurb-fest on why I made these choices – and an even fatter one on why, when it came to the crunch, I didn’t fight for them. But really, who cares? The fact is that at 17, I bowed to other people’s expectations (as you do), went to university and shoved my dreams into the black hole marked Fantasies: unrealistic. They stayed there for forty years, despite the odd publication.
Ten years ago, I dragged them out, shook off the dust, wrestled the spiders and had a look. Yep, still the same. Just older. But now it was do-or-die time, and since I didn’t fancy dying, I took the other option. Although these days, I’m not misguided enough to think that a book of mine will ever grace the bookstores.
But what would have happened if I’d stuck to my guns all those years ago?
What a phenomenally ridiculous question! I might have made it. More likely I’d have fallen flat on my naive little face, and at this point, what the hell does it matter? Except that if I’d followed a different path, I wouldn’t have had the children I have, and that doesn’t bear thinking about.
I’ve always written, I always will. The only difference now is that I don’t hanker after chocolate éclairs.