Writing is a compulsion for me. Since I was old enough to pick up a pen, I have wanted to write words. They fascinate me; how emotive they can be. The idea that a collection of words, placed in the right order, can weave images in the mind of another person, can create memories for the reader that may not ever have otherwise existed, and how sentences, phrases, whole paragraphs, or entire books, can stay with us throughout our entire lives…that’s magic.
When I was younger I wrote a lot of poetry. An over active imagination combined with my ‘teenage-angst period’ inspired some pretty dark musings about life and love; as a result of my woefulness I read a lot of Sylvia Platt, and her ‘Epitaph for Fire and Flame’ was engraved on my mind for many years. I felt like I knew ‘real’ pain and understood her heartbreak like no other. Obviously, I later learned that I had no idea what I was talking about and that ‘pain’ I felt was the cocktail of pre-pubescent hormones that were flooding my system at the time and screwing with my emotional balance. But still, writing gave me an outlet for how I was feeling back then and while some of my stuff was published, other bits were just for me; tiny fragments of my soul, immortalised in words, helping me to chip away at whatever needed chipping away at in a bid to discover who I was.
Who am I?
I’m a writer. That’s what I have learned. Of course, I am so many other things as well, but that is the only thing that has stayed with me throughout my entire life, from the first time I ever got given a ‘lined’ piece of paper and wrote a story that began with the phrase, “Once upon a time…”.
I was five.
And I couldn’t stop.
I tried to stop. I figured that, of my two biggest loves in life (writing and singing), I was only slightly above average at best, and both worlds are competitive. I could never be ‘the best’ at either, and since I’m such an unforgiving perfectionist, I wasn’t satisfied with being ‘average’, so I tried to stop. I gave up both and went about doing things I was good at, but that I didn’t love nearly as much. The whole time I wasn’t writing the strangest thing happened to me; I became depressed. I thought in stories, paragraphs, sentences, and phrases, and I didn’t let them out. My mind became a whirling mess of all the things I wanted to say, but had no outlet for, and along with other life events that inevitably happen along the way, I found myself in that darkest of dark black holes. I found ‘actual’ pain. And still, I didn’t write.
I’m a trooper. I won’t let this black cloud ruin me. Squash it down. Push it away.
Of course, that doesn’t work. If there’s no outlet, you just create an overflow, and that creates an avalanche, and that causes people to break.
So, I broke; at what should have been one of the happiest times in my life.
I’m a strong believer in fate, and at this most crucial point, a dear friend of mine offered me an opportunity to work with her, on a magazine she owned, no less.
I still loved words, but I wasn’t a ‘writer’, at least not in my own mind, so I started editing. Taking clumsily written pieces about things of no importance to me and making them interesting. Satisfying a desire to see words as they should be.
She encouraged me to write for her and another strange thing happened; people liked my writing.
Long story short, after a while, I took a leap of faith and gave up my ‘office’ job to be a Freelance Writer. It’s still a competitive industry, but the digital explosion and exponential growth of the internet has afforded me the opportunity to earn a living writing web content and become an expert on subjects that I never thought in my wildest dreams I would know squat about. Namely, I get paid to write about nutrition and fitness, dieting and weight-loss, testosterone boosting and penis enlargement (true story), herbal supplementing and clean eating. The rest of the time, I write whatever comes into my head; stories, poems, articles…about life, and love, and sex.
I do something I love. I no longer suffer from depression. I get the chance to write for myself, to write for other people, to have my writing read…and once again, I. CANNOT. STOP.
The words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs still whirl around my head, but now I let them out. Sometimes they lead somewhere, and I create something worthwhile, sometimes they are beginnings, middles, or ends, to things that I haven’t yet figured out; but I put them down, I file them away, and maybe one day I’ll uncover the rest of each particular piece.
My ambition in life is not to earn my fortune writing (although it would be nice), it’s not to write the next best seller (again, that would be awesome!), but it is to write something that stays in someone’s mind. A beautiful collection of words, masquerading as a sentence, that speak an honest to goodness truth to someone’s soul and has them remembering the words, in that specific order, in that particular manner, immortalised as something that is emotive or meaningful to them, for whatever reason.
Because the fact that a few otherwise non-consequential words, written in the right order and read at the right moment, can evoke powerful reactions that can last a life time, that, for me, is magic. That’s what real magic looks like.
That’s why I’m a writer.