I Wanted To Be A Writer

 15th Jan 2021

I Wanted To Be  A Writer

15th Jan 2013.

This day eight years ago, 15th January 2013, a Tuesday, my 59th birthday, I started this journey, this writing life.

I had no idea  – that less could be  more, that I’d have to kill my darlings, that there’d be no muse,  just hard work and lots of it,  and who knew how absolutely necessary, the housework would suddenly become. I’m so damn proud of my shiny bathroom just now.

So, there I was, stood outside the door. Ok, deep breath, raise your head, grip the handle.  I gulped down the sick feeling, down into my stomach which itself was fighting to regain some kind of stillness.  Through the double glass doors, I saw two ladies already sat at the large table.  I joined them. We made small talk as others came into the room.

“Hello, I’m Marian, mother of nine and grandmother.”  My hands clammy, my mouth dry, what on earth was I doing here?   Ten “would be” writers gathered together for a six week Creative Writing Course, we took turns to introduce ourselves. 

I’d wanted to write as far back as I could remember, paying a lot of money in the late 70’s for a distance writing course. Learning in isolation though? Not my thing. The books went in the loft, then into the bin when we moved. Though my confidence was knocked, the desire remained.  I had to dig deep to find a grain of courage to try this new workshop.  Would I now, actually be able to? Would everybody be better than me? Would my dream be shattered? Because, then what? I’d always used the excuse that my brain hadn’t got any usable mental space for writing, it was so full of the worries and minutia of bringing up a large family. 

Strangely though, I’d been looking forward to this day for longer than I cared to admit.  Occasionally, in the past, passion would take hold of me and I’d have to write to a paper or magazine. even had some articles published, mainly in Catholic papers and Parish newsletters. But nothing that would class me as a proper writer.  Would I ever deserve that title?

But my main push to start, was the sense I was running out of time. A stroke I had the year before, certainly made me think. All those wasted moments of the past – nothing to be done about them.  Dreams for the future?  Only wishful thinking … unless… I knew leaving things for later would mean they’d never get done. So, no time like the present. When I handed the cheque over at the start of that first session, I knew that it could, change everything.