I have always been a person driven by my passion and the need to only do what makes me happy. So when life means we all have to do jobs we don’t really want, but have little choice, it always felt like a contradiction to me.
The first thing I really wanted to do was to write, and to work with animals and I worked my socks off for a place at vet school. It was only ill-health that prevented me from qualifying.
But as a lover of biology I did go on to get my B Sc in Zoology and much later an MSc in Ecology. This meant I could work in science, but I was always a bit disgruntled. Industry isn’t quite real science — it’s business. So the writing hobby started to take over along with this huge need to just be happy.
The way I am about everything ( I think it’s genetic!) meant this turned to obsession, but in a good way and took me ultimately to where I am now.
With my busy week and the mixture of things from professional critiquing, copy editing for a publisher, always my own writing, a visit to Salford Uni to talk to undergrads and MA students and the children at John Bright later this week, means I am really living the writing dream 🙂
Imagine that. I used to.
I sometimes have to give myself a reality check on that, but there it is, the smile on my face and the knowing I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I realised as I talked to the students, in an odd form of role reversal, I am what some of them aspire to be, a full-time writer and so while I was lecturing about the short story form and more specifically Cafelit and the Creative Cafe Project, they wanted to know about choosing stories, editing, publishing. And I was paid to talk about my passion! Isn’t that what real writers do … oh, I am one! Of course I am. So not a famous one (yet!) not even one that makes much money, but I am doing it and I am on the right path. Without doubt.
They say when you think about something you love, you feel as if every molecule within you is vibrating at the right frequency, be it your family, your pets, your hobby and it’s a bit like that warm Christmas glow I was talking about.
But do you feel that way about your job?
I honestly can say, after all these years of having to compromise and resent doing something that didn’t make me feel that way … I do. I really honestly truly do.
And how grateful I am.
Yes it’s hard work, but it never feels like a chore. And that’s because you know you’re vibrating at the right frequency.
Have a great writing day all. Off to the Bangor Cellar Writing Group’s annual Christmas dinner tonight … the closest a freelancer gets to the office party … can’t wait!
No one seemed to want a copy of An Advent Calendar of Stories for children, but I still have 2 copies to give away if you comment to this post and ask for one!