Writing was the first creative activity that I ‘seriously’ took to (at least, as far as I can remember!). During my childhood I used to write short stories and poems that I would read aloud to my parents, and then submit to my junior school magazine. They were kind enough to publish a few of these, possibly to keep me quiet.
And I have always loved reading
Throughout my life I have had to find some way of expressing my thoughts in a creative way. Often, I painted. I have also turned my hand to wood carving and print making. Another obsession has been India. After my first visit there, I spent some time attempting to find a way of adequately expressing my feelings and impressions of the country, and, possibly because I was so overawed with the place, found that I had not the skills at the time to do them justice in either prose or poetry, although I felt that I was frustratingly close. It was then that I began a long series of paintings on India that occupied me for a number of years.
I wrote haiku frequently.
I always kept a notebook, even when I wasn’t seriously writing, whether it was just to put down ideas for paintings, thoughts to power my rants, short poems, or ideas that I hoped to eventually work into stories. Looking back, it seems that, one way or the other, I have always been writing.
On top of that, being quite good at Trivial Pursuit and having a head stuffed full of odd facts that are of little use anywhere else, I eventually decided that the best thing I could do was to become a writer.
But why do I write? To use the hackneyed, over-used phrase, I write because I have to. I write because whatever is happening to me and around me, I scribble stuff down in a notebook that I want to turn into a story and share with people. I write because I get an incredible kick when I have spent a long time working on a line or a phrase or a paragraph and read it back and think wow! that really works! I write because I hope (against all expectation) that what I write will be read by someone who thinks that it says something to them about their own life or situation. I don’t write in the expectation of winning competitions or landing a big six figure advance for my next novel, because I hope that I am a realist (although we can all dream). I write because I want to see my thoughts in print, though, so Hooray! for self-publishing! And finally, I continue to write partly because I have had some very kind and positive feedback, so thank you, you know who you are!