I wanted to be a writer. I wanted the freedom of thought that would allow me to create my own kingdoms and to find my own treasures. I wanted another life from the one that I have now. Teaching is a job, not a life.
So, I set about the task of teaching myself how to write. I started off with short stories. One of my earliest was a tiny tome called, Shark Island. I think I still have it somewhere but can give you an outline of its voluminous plot. Basically, Bond on an Island with lots of baddies and a beautiful girl. Throw in a gun, a speedboat and a gyrocopter and you have it. Not a literary success with any audience other than myself, but a start. From there on there came some painful poetry, etching out emotional turmoil on philosophical feet made of mud. I wrote diaries that plotted my way through adolescence and then back came the poetry; this time less embarrassing. I wooed my wife to be with a few rough sonnets, strawberries and cream, and a bottle of champagne over the back door dustbin. At least the writing got me something of value.
But writing is what I want to do. I want to make my living from it. I want it to be the vehicle of my travel and experiences and I want to be able to think of myself as a writer and not just a “wanna-be” writer. This thing here, this therapy or biography, will probably sit in the digital graveyard of my notebook collecting digital dust and being visited by nobody.
What is it that drives a writer? For me it was a form of release. It was not that I had all these stories up in my head, waiting to escape, but that I had real dreams and an “off with the fairies” mentality. I have never particularly subscribed to the real world as I find it overtly depressing. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not an escapist fantasist who will dunk his head into the nearest pile of somnambulant sand and wait for it all to go away. No, for we have wings and can fly, we will travel and experience, we will discover, we will path-find; we may just, one day, create something that people will read and remember and possibly share with others. It sounds a little vainglorious on the page but it’s not supposed to be so. Writing is cutting through the weeds and discovering a garden that has been lost for a time that is so distant that nobody truly remembers it.