Let me start off by saying I have no idea what I’m doing. For those who know me this is probably apparent – don’t worry, I get it. However, this isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, I have no rules to which I need to abide by.
In contradiction to this though I have somewhat of an inclination of what I’d like to do. Therefore, I’m just going to go and do that. Which is to be a writer. To tells stories and make things up. To lie for a living.
Before you go all Pinocchio’s dad on me (whose name is Geppetto in case you were wondering) these aren’t bad lies I am talking about. They are my truths. What I believe to be true. Beliefs that I hold close to my heart and if it weren’t for writing I may never get to express. Fiction is the lie that tells the truth. There is someone out there who needs my story. Who, without it, may grow up to be a different person, and who with it may find inspiration, or wisdom, or hope or kindness within my pages. That’s why I want to write, and that’s why I owe it to readers to write well.
My biggest fear is that I’ll publish a story that is dull and may turn someone off reading and that is a scary thought. However, I’m willing to face that fear because I know that my words will reach someone, I have to believe they will.
I’m going to break off into a bit of a tangent here and make a declaration.
Reading is cool.
Writing is cool.
Cool is a four-letter word with two vowels and two consonants. And I know this because of reading and writing. That was a full circle moment which is cool.
I digress, what I ultimately want to do is to inspire kids to read. Albert Einstein once said –
Now I’m not saying I’m the authority on what fosters intelligence just because I have read a lot, far from it. I mean, I once tried to wash nail polish off with water, common sense isn’t exactly my strong point…
But I do understand the value of reading and imagining and I want to be able to help in adding to a world where future generations read and are read to, imagine and understand. Where people are not afraid to put on character voices when they read aloud to their kids. It may be true that individuals may just be a grain of sand in the context of society, but it is individuals who endeavour to change the world and imagine a different future. Don’t think you can’t change the world, you can. I want to change the world by telling lies to children in the form of stories and do it all for profit – I’m joking – sort of… In all seriousness though, everything was once imagined by someone after all. Just pause for a moment and look around your room, everything you see came from someone’s imagination.
However, just doing something – such as writing for a living – is so much harder than it sounds, yet it can also be the easiest thing imaginable. And I concede there are a lot of things I need to do to grant me the freedom of getting to where I want to be.
I want to be the creator of worlds, an intrepid explorer of far off places that no one has ever dreamed of. To bring forth characters that will break your heart or become your best-friend. I want to write books, movies, and perhaps even comics – so one of my first step towards this was studying Journalism. Because journalists are allowed to ask questions, to venture out into the world and discover how things work. Journalism teaches you how to write concisely, to a time frame and ultimately to write well under pressure. Journalism is a key for me in creating good art.
I’ve often thought that great writers were all in a position, not unlike a position you probably have found yourself in countless times, sitting at a desk, putting words to paper. The very words I have encountered in countless books. And they do so in a way full of such wonder and beauty. And then I start to think, dammit why don’t my words read like that? Then I start questioning my faith even though I’m not a man of faith. I say some unsavoury things to myself, my computer, even my lamp (I don’t mean it because I love lamp). But that’s life, I’m humbled to be able to read the works of true literary giants, to immerse myself in their worlds in the form of escapism, and when I emerge it almost feels like I’m gasping for air. There’s nothing quite like the drive that fiction can ignite within you. The need to turn the page to uncover what happens next, and by doing so you are forced to learn new words, to dream new ideas, to see things from a perspective once unseen.
Reading is key. Words have so much power. They have forged empires and shaped nations and that is why I want to tell lies for a living. Words are eternal and will outlast us all in the end. I want my words, my truths to last longer than my lifetime, to live on in the hearts and minds of others. To leave my mark on this world for the better. To give people that warm feeling you get when you finish a book that you wish you could forget so you can enjoy the experience of reading it again for the first time.