Sunday

So you want to be a writer?

When I was a kid, whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, my reply was always 'I want to be a writer just like Enid Blyton'.
The response is also always the same, 'But why? You are better off becoming a doctor/ engineer / (insert any other high-paying jobs)'.
Even my father was not very encouraging, telling me to get good grades in school and take a practical course in college such as business administration or architecture.
"You can write in your free time," was his reply when I told him I only want to write, nothing else. Architecture indeed! Imagine, clumsy me designing a building. I can just imagine forgetting to include a column or two into the building structure and the building crumbling into pieces the moment someone sneezed at it.
So, for the greater good and for the sake of everyone's life (I don't want to accidentally kill someone by bungling up in any of the above-mentioned professions), I decided to stick with my dream.
Of course, I have quite a few others who would tell me to ignore the sceptics and continue chasing my dream.
My number one fan was my mother who encouraged me and took the trouble to read the many stories I penned in my teenage years. My other fans are my circle of school friends who would wait patiently to read my short stories (most of which are romances since I was into Mills & Boons and Harlequin books at that time) and ask for more.
Now, years later, I am still working to fulfil this dream. I still scribble storylines and ideas whenever I have time. I started blogging to keep my creative writing skills honed and active.
Somehow along the way I managed to land myself in a writing job as a news journalist with a local daily. It was not what I wanted, but hey, it pays the bills.
Again, I get the same scepticism from other 'serious career minded non-journalist friends'.
"Are you sure you want to be a journalist? There's not much future in it, you know," one well-meaning friend would say.
"Well, since I do not have a college degree, I can't possibly be a doctor, can I? Nor can I be an architect, so I will have to settle with what I do best, writing," I told that well-meaning friend.
Fortunately, my circle of good friends continue to support me. One actually made sure I continue writing down my story ideas by nagging me at every turn.
"Have you completed your book yet?" he would ask when we 'bumped' into each other online recently.
"Err...not yet but getting there soon," was my sheepish reply.
"It's been ,what, ten years?? When are you going to complete it? Until you turn 99 with one foot in the grave?"
"Well.....I've been busy..."
"Excuses! I thought you wanted to be an author? Whatever happened to that?"
"I am working on that, really, honestly, believe me..."
"Hummpphhh...if you don't work on it, then don't come whining to me about having to write boring news articles day in day out!'
"I don't whine. Besides, how can anyone whine through an online chat? And I have a toddler at home to care for and a lot of work in the office and house chores to boot. so there!"
"Again, excuses, excuses."
"Hey, if you volunteer to babysit my son every once in a while, perhaps I would have completed the book by now!"
"Hah! Nice try! We live in different states and I am, thankfully, thousands of miles away, remember? So, don't try to foist the blame on me!"
"Okay, okay, stop nagging me. I don't need the extra stress, ok? It's not my fault that my husband is not a millionaire and we do not have a maid at home and I have to work to help pay the bills. I promise you that I will have the manuscript complete by...err... end of this month, so there!"
"We will see then," was his ominous reply.
Now, it is mere days from the end of the month and I am only at Chapter Four. I better not logon for too long, he might see me!
Better go, I have another six chapters to write, daily news articles to write, house chores to do, hyperactive baby to control and less than 48 hours per day to do all that! Oh, @#$%, I have not done my taxes yet too! Whose idea is it to only have 24 hours per day anyway?

2 comments:

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

Oh, Nyla, I got the same sort of negative reaction when I was a kid. All I wanted was to be a writer and artist and everyone scoffed. While they admitted I had talent, I was badgered about not being able to make a living unless I went a more traditional, professional route. So I did just that and hated it for years.

Trying to do it all is, indeed, a difficult balancing act but just spreading our wings and following our dreams can make such a wonderfully positive tremendous difference in our lives. :-)

nyla said...

Thanks again for your pep talk, Daisy and thanks for visiting my blog. I am now so used to the negative reactions that I brush it all aside as mere buzzings of annoying flies!
I now made sure I put in at least several hours to my manuscript each week so I am sure I will be able to complete it very soon!