I know my parents read to me constantly from when I was tiny – some of our family catchphrases are lines from my favourite childhood books. My mum has a story about me “reading” out loud while sitting on the floor of a bookshop – I was making it up. I thought being a writer sounded exciting.
I was fascinated by the different worlds these words conjured up – where a baby gets stronger by eating avocados or a postman delivers toads and potions to witches. I clearly remember dictating My Little Pony stories and writing news articles about what I saw out of my grandmother’s kitchen window.
So I think I was always a writer, looking for ways to describe and share my experiences with others. I didn’t see myself as a fiction writer, but as a storyteller nonetheless.
I like to be challenged, to have to explain a subject I’m not familiar with, or to help someone find the right way to express their ideas. It’s good to hear people talk animatedly about their business, and work out how to put that down on paper.
Word meanings, where they come from and how they’re used is endlessly interesting to me. I like learning new words and searching for alternatives and less-used phrases when I’m writing.
When I started to write this post, I thought of titling it “why I became a writer” or “how I became a writer”, but I don’t think there was a definitive moment when the decision was made, it was just what I was best at and what I was always going to do.
Although I’ve mostly worked in administration, I’ve always written as well, reviewing gigs for online magazines or even pieces as an extra part of my job. I’m probably never going to be a war correspondent and print journalism is pretty much finished, but there are still so many situations where good written skills are still needed and valued.
One of the best things about being a writer is telling people that’s what you do, and the responses you get. The other is being able to do what you love at any time of the day or night, when inspiration strikes. I hope I convey my enthusiasm for it whenever I talk to people, and I can help them find the right words.