Or at least trying to be.
I remember being around 16 or 17 telling a classmate about my writing hobby and that I had thought of doing it as a career. At the time I was pretty lost with regard to career plans and my civil engineering dream was becoming less and less likely.
My classmate on the other hand was an excellent academic – who went on to study medicine.
He told me (in a roundabout way) that sometimes when you try to turn your hobby into your career it ruins it.
At the time I think I said something like yeah you’re right. But in my head I thought but I wanna be a writer and over half a decade later I still think that.
However, despite wanting to be a writer, I’m now 2 years into a career in transport. For the most part, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at and that has made me realise that more than wanting to be a writer what I really want is to write.
And I do write.
It turns out I’ve been hiding.
I’ve been hiding from the kind of writing that challenges me. I used to think that that meant being more personal and baring my soul.
But I was wrong.
I think there is beauty in being able to write something that not only moves the reader but also the writer.
Not the painful, tortured writer but instead the kind of writing with feeling behind it instead of just words.
It’s hard to find the time to push myself with what I share on The Daily Gemm in-between everything I have going on (and everything I distract myself with). And sometimes I allow myself to be bare minimum because I know I can get away with it.
But I read something beautiful this morning and it moved me. It made me remember just what I love about writing. It got me thinking about how I used to write and how I haven’t pushed myself to explore my writing enough.
I don’t even remember the last time I just sat and wrote without thinking about what I would do with it once it was finished.
I haven’t written a poem in months.
I daydreamed about writing these personal essays about my life yet I rarely write more than a couple hundred words at a time and never get round to even planning the essays.
I’ve been hiding and I didn’t even know it.
A few months ago I had an idea for my book and I planned to spend my summer writing in-between picnics, parties and Prosecco.
But summer came, summer went and nothing ever came of that book idea. Infact, I don’t even remember the idea that I had.
But then a few days ago I had another idea and I thought about how great it was that I have ideas in abundance.
And perhaps this current book idea will just become a series of blog posts but it could also become my bestselling debut.
Either way this situation of forgetting a good idea and quite seamlessly moving on to something else I’m just as happy with has served as important reminder.
First of all to follow through with my ideas but also that I’m full of them and I want to share them.
It can be difficult to admit that because it feels a bit showy to put yourself out there but it’s also necessary.
Whatever is going on in my life will be woven through the words I write.
At times, I’m like a floatie being pulled and swayed in all kinds of directions. But I’m easily influenced and inspired.
From the ages of 16-18 I studied textiles, discovered Seth Godin and read a few books by Dickens.
That trio of things heavily influenced my writing at the time through the language in used. I can see it now but I was also aware of it at the time.
And as time has passed new things have influenced the way I write things like music, nature, relationships etc.
I still have my core style but my choice of words and what I want them to evoke has developed and grown with along with me.
For this blog my writing is heavily inspired by my themes of overcoming fear, self exploration, dream life etc
But I’m also still influenced by Seth Godin after all these years (I’m now in my twenties). I’m also influenced by things that move me emotionally, I’m a feelings person, who has kept a journal for more than a decade so it’s a big part of who I am. I can’t help but let that part of me pour out when I write.
I’d like to think that my influences and inspirations come through but it’s not down to me if they show or not.
That’s for you to decide.
And sometimes the best thing is to say nothing at all.
Because if someone isn’t willing to listen but is willing to argue and disagree you’re probably wasting your time and energy.
But other times the reason to say nothing is because you can’t quite find the words. You’re talking in phrases, stumbling over words and not quite making sense.
Maybe you need a moment of rest, a moment to not speak (or write) or make a grand statement about what you’ve discovered about life.
I’m in the mood to say nothing today but since I committed to saying something daily this is all I have to offer.
Some days are easier than others.
I have days when the words pour out with such ease that it can be hard to keep up. But I also have days when I’ll open my laptop to write and after 30 minutes I’ve gone back and forth on the same few sentences and I have a total of 23 words on the page.
But by posting daily I can’t rely on the days when it’s easy to write because those moments don’t come 7 days a week.
Instead I’ve taught myself to work through the days when the words don’t come as easy and still end up with something I’m happy to share.
I find that once I’m willing to try and write the ‘block’ eventually dissolves and out pour the words.
Growing up I don’t think I ever read the acknowledgements of many books.
I suppose, I probably just thought that’s nothing to do with me, it’s for the people being acknowledged.
But recently I started thinking about who I’d acknowledge if I ever wrote a book and it was quite fun.
I sat and asked myself who in my life has helped, supported or contributed to where I’m at. Those are the people I’d give a shout out to in my book.
I think most of us have people in our lives that have taught us things, sometimes even by accident but they’ve helped shape us.
For me those are people worth acknowledging.