I have always felt that writing is the one place where i can be myself, am at home and can succeed. I remember when i first acquired a home computer, a loaned one from the Open University for T102-introduction to science, and i sat at the dining table, tenderly touching the keyboard with my splayed fingertips. 'This is my destiny' i thought, but at the time i was unable to take it any further. When, 2 months later, i had to pull out of that course due to time and family commitments i remember feeling bereft as i packaged it away.
I don't really understand why the computer was such a symbol of my writing need, i could always use a pen and paper, but on reflection i realise it went much deeper than that.
A few years later i finally managed to get on the computer owning ladder through pleas and arguments with my then husband about how necessary it was for the boys to have access to the net for their schoolwork. I never once told him it was so that i could write. Following our divorce, and the decision to obtain a degree the writing again took a back seat as i told myself that Health and Social Care courses were much more important, more acceptable to others and therefore the right thing to do.
Years of words flowed by me. Fifteen years and the attainment of a Bsc Hons have not fulfilled the void in my life that i now recognise as the need to write. I still can't understand why people find it so difficult to understand that 'writer' can be just as acceptable a job description as 'nurse,' 'policeman' or 'shop assistant'. Why, when asked what their occupation is, a writer feels obliged to justify their reasons for having the jumped up audacity to call themselves such. Why they are made to feel embarrassed because of their choice of career. I know that what has held me back is the fear of people laughing at my attempts at prose, i couldn't write on paper because someone might find my notebook and read my words, the same for any writing on my computer. The need to protect my fragile inner self esteem from the jeers of those that really can do no better themselves-or are frightened that i may achieve something that secretly, they long to do themselves.
So what is the change? Myself, i have changed. I am finally allowing myself to write and i am finally allowing others into this inner sanctum that is my writing. The journey is scary, one of the most exhilerating roller coasters i have ever ridden. Every time somebody is reading my work i wait anxiously as the chain slowly bites and drags my cart up to the summit. The stomach lurching point where the reader lifts their head and prepares to give their verdict. I wonder in that heart stopping moment if i will get a mad rush of pleasure or a debilitating crash landing. So far, i have enjoyed the ride.
Thankyou to those who believe in me.