Some thoughts on writing


I know I'm a little bit late to the party, but I've recently become obsessed with Cheryl Strayed. This month I've read both Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough and pondered her wisdom and imagination and wonderful way of making sense of the world with her words. One quote in particular struck a chord with me, and I keep finding myself flicking back to it and rereading it.

“Don't lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don't have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don't know what it is yet.” - Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.

I have always loved writing, whether it was scribbles in notebooks or lengthy rambles of posts on this blog. Writing comes naturally to me, it helps me make sense of what's going on in my life and in my head and all of the chaos around me. Writing about my feelings - whether just for myself or to be made public - helps me to process, to learn, to understand, and for that reason alone, I know I will always write.

I was torn when choosing a subject to study at university - my head (and just about every grown up I spoke to about it) told me that Economics would be better for me career-wise, while my heart (and my lovely English tutor, Fran) tried to convince me that English Literature and Language was the route for me. My head lucked out in the end, and I don't regret that decision now, but for a while after graduating I did feel like writing didn't really have a place in my career. It was something to squeeze in when I had the time, rather than being an essential part of my daily routine.

That feeling changed when I started writing this blog over a year ago. I remembered how much enjoyment I got from telling my stories and writing my memories, from connecting with other creatives with words, and soon I was penning 3 or 4 posts a week, every week. Now I write something - whether it's a post or some ideas or a couple of paragraphs in my journal - every single day. And it's completely true that the more I write, the more I want to write and the more ideas I have. Ideas for blog posts and articles and essays and maybe even books.

But I still don't think of myself as a writer. Because my day job is to sell toys and crunch numbers and build business plans. I get paid to grow business and land events and execute marketing campaigns, not to write. No single part of my career to date has involved writing. But reading this quote from Cheryl Strayed made me realise that that doesn't mean it won't ever be. That maybe if I keep writing and keep learning and keep getting those ideas down on paper, some day I might get paid to do the thing I love the most, the thing that comes most naturally.

So here's to just writing. Without any particular knowledge that one day my words will be published in a newspaper or a book or that my words will help me to pay my mortgage. Just writing because it makes me happy. Who knows, one day I might even feel like a writer.