Lots of people have stories from their childhoods that they like to tell because they’re funny or filled with adventure, or they’re traumatic and telling them invokes sympathy or empathy. I am not one of those people. Or, at least if I am, I don’t tell those stories enough to realise it.
Instead, I focus on a little exercise in class: to write a letter to myself 10 years in the future.
Now, the time for opening that letter has come and gone, and I still have no idea where it is, but I remember the contents quite well, anyway. That’s not difficult, given that by and large it relates to something that I’ve been thinking about for most of my life: being a professional writer.
I’d wanted to study journalism, because I was under the impression at the time that if a wee Irish lad were to make money writing, it would have to be in newspapers. Not even magazines. Glossy publications, television shows, movies, books – they were for the more prominent countries.
This was, of course, absolute nonsense fuelled by ignorance in an age before the Internet made its way into my house. (A rough estimate on my part places that a couple of years later… at least! And that was dial-up!)
I’m now at the point in my life where I’m free of those restrictions on my mindset. I’m in a new job, I’m in the middle of my thesis for a postgrad programme (in the college I had wanted to study Journalism in), and I can’t remember the last time I felt this good about myself. (But that’s a whole other topic.)
With all of this positivity building up in my life, and the realisation that a large part of my thesis actually requires some of the skills I taught myself in lieu of studying Journalism (such as sourcing interviewees and arranging interviews, arranging press passes, appropriately covering events, etc.), and a recent show on Sky Arts about George RR Martin’s writing career, I want to push past of my younger self’s ideas of what I can do to write for a living.
I’ve been working through the ideas to make this work for too long. It’s about time I put this all into action. Part of that will mean writing here more often. Part of it will mean producing more videos for YouTube. Mostly, it will mean dedicating more time to writing each week – cutting down on gaming time, obviously, instead of something more important…like work…or my thesis.
All that said, I’ll be back again soon with another post, a new video, and hopefully a proper schedule to keep up with.