So You Want to Be a Writer by Hannah Briscoe

I often think, when I’m alone, why a writer? Why not something else? Why not something easier? I know that they are silly questions because nothing is easy if you really want it. I try harder at things I care about; I make them more difficult for myself because I want to do my very best. But sometimes when I feel down trodden I do wonder ‘why?’.

I remember when I was growing up, a time that seems so long ago but only yesterday, that my schoolmates and I would talk about being older and what we would do with our lives. I always said I wanted to be a writer. I think it’s because I have an underlying sense of dissatisfaction with the world around me. This is not to say that I have or have had a bad life; I think, all in all, I’ve been very lucky but I was always dreaming that I was off somewhere else. A lot of people tell me that this is very common in childhood. I think it’s very common in adulthood too; it just seems that a percentage stop daydreaming about dragons and start fantasying about other things, like getting their own house.

And then I realised that children play ‘house’ all the time. I don’t think there is a division between adult daydreams and children’s. Just the degree to which we think they are possible. I still daydream of dragons. I still daydream of writing for a living.

I’ve noticed as I and my friends around me enter the ‘real world’ after education that my friend’s daydreams have changed. Not all have changed; those with more ‘realistic’ aspirations have stuck to them. The friend who wanted to be a teacher is doing her PGCE, the one who wanted to be a car mechanic works doing exactly that, but the one who wanted to be an artist isn’t, and the one who wanted to be a journalist has changed her dream.

There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind and I know a lot of people never really find the job that’s for them. Sometimes what you think is a ‘safe’ job or an easy job to get is really hard to find, but I can’t help thinking maybe this is just everyone growing up. Maybe they had the right idea giving up; maybe I should be finding a ‘safe’ job. But I can’t. It’s as simple as that.

So: Why a writer? I never chose to be a writer; it’s just what I am. Even if I never get to write for a living, or if no one ever reads what I have written, I will write. Because I can’t really do anything else; it’s in my heart, and in my brain, and in my blood.

And I hope that I will never think it gets too hard.

Now pop over to Hannah website for further reading

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2 Responses to So You Want to Be a Writer by Hannah Briscoe

  1. jan says:

    Daydreaming again 🙂

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