When I was younger I used to want to be a fiction writer. I pictured myself squirreled away in a cosy retreat somewhere with my own little hoard of ideas and plots and characters to be saved and savoured, each one coaxed and cajoled into various scenarios and situations, taken hither and thither, toyed with and toiled with until a wonderful novel emerged fully-formed at the end of the process.
But somehow it never ended up that way. Instead all my fledgling stories seemed at source to be about me in another guise, in another life. The language would be too flowery, too over-burdened and achingly over-the-top. But yet the resulting prose would somehow be too flat, too lifeless for my liking, and I would always be left feeling disappointed and disillusioned.
Once my children were born, I dabbled in writing poetry – a habit that has stayed with me over the years. I wrote – still write – from personal experience, dealing with emotional issues, telling my story through the tighter framework of stanzas where fancier language fits better, feels more creatively comfortble.
Then when my children were grown I went to University to study for my degree in Psychology and Sociology and had a little romantic fling with the rigours of academic writing. Even here I oh-so-carefully crafted my essays to ensure they flowed – always academically correct, but creating a fluent narrative nonetheless.
I discovered that what I love most is writing about real life – fact, not fiction. Not that I write much of anything since graduating, other than my private journal; an ongoing project, my favourite therapeutic tool. I don’t even write much on my blog – apart from my haiku, most of my posts these days are image-related, photography-focused. But I find that when I don’t write I miss it; miss the thrust and parry of rapier witticisms, miss sporting with myself in order to find the perfect word or phrase that fits and the sated satisfaction when it all finally comes together in fluid form.
So somewhere deep down it seems that a little part of me still wants to be a writer, but I’m far more realistic these days. I may like playing around with words, but that’s entirely the point – I like playing with them, not working with them. The bottom line for me is that writing is bloody hard work and it seems I just don’t want it enough… and happily that realisation is absolutely fine with me 🙂