‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
It’s a question we expect as children. The older we get, the more we dread it. We quickly learn that some answers are acceptable and some are not. Of course, the answer that leads to popping champagne corks and clapping of hands at home may be one that leads to rending of garments and gnashing of teeth amongst friends or more distant relatives. There is no one size pleases all.
So I wanted to be a writer.
Like anyone else with that ambition, the first question I faced was, ‘How can you make a living from that?’
The problem with being asked that question as a child is that you cannot relate to the time when you will need to bring home enough money to pay the bills, buy the food and maybe have enough left over for a little treat every now and then. Your parents manage so you assume that you will, too.
The question should be, ‘What do you want to do during the day to allow you to write at night?’
As teenagers, we think it will be romantic and authentic to live in a garret, write by candlelight and eat cold baked beans out of a tin. As adults, we quickly learn that you need to put down a sizeable deposit for even the smallest garret, your Mac can’t run on candles and cold baked beans are just foul. And when you start to dream of a nicer place to live and private school for your children, the dream of being a struggling writer quickly fades into the background. For every million dollar success story, there are thousands of published writers who still can’t give up the day job.
I am trying to figure out why I have trouble committing to my dream of being a writer. It’s what I want to do, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s what makes me happiest. Even though I’ve finally found a day job that I truly enjoy, I still want to be a writer. I am a writer.
Something is still holding me back.
And I am determined to find out why.