Wednesday, 9 July 2008

How do you become a writer?

There are some questions that children will always ask and this is a favourite: "How do you become a writer?"
Got a pencil and a notebook/pen and paper/electronic gadgetry ready?
Get writing! It really is as simple as that. Don't put it off, worry about the finer points later - to start off, just get writing. Do it!
Children are amazed when I tell them that I got up one morning and decided to be a full time writer, and this is where it got me!

Of course, I want to encourage them to believe in themselves as creatives, and that they can make exciting things happen for themselves, and it's not sensible to burden infant school age children with some of the harsher realities of making a living. But the reality isn't too different - it's more or less what I did.
I believe that three things are important in order for me to be able to create: emotional support, financial security/backup and available time.
I had scribbled long long letters to anyone and everyone I could think of all my life, for the pleasure of writing and for the need to express my ideas. I had to write or my head would go off bang. I was too busy bringing up my family and not sufficiently nurtured to believe that I was capable of writing anything as astonishing as a book.
But my life and circumstances changed dramatically, and I found myself in a position where I was supported, nurtured and encouraged to try out my newly found creativity.
I was drawing and writing regularly, and had created the original set of characters with several stories for pre school children. It was at that point when I woke up one morning and said "I am going to work full time at writing and trying to get published.
I had not an inkling at that point where that decision would take me; how much I would learn, and still have to learn, how much I would grow personally and creatively, who I would meet and work with. It has all been the most fantastic adventure, yet having come so very far, I have so much further to go. Where will we be in another five years?
(PS: Maybe I will have learnt how to format this blog! TSK. Why does it always re-arrange my line breaks??)


Marie said...

Helen, I had the same problem with line breaks.

The I went into the HTML section and discovered the 'div' signs with the arrows. If I deleted them there, I could arrange my paragraphs the way I wanted them.

Hope that helps!


P.S. Lovely blog! :)

Helen McGlasson said...

Hey Marie,
Thanks very much for this - I shall go and post it on the discussion board on Blogcatalog too, where several of us were bemoaning the line break problem.
Watch this space, to see if I can follow simple instructions, dear readers :)