General · Writing

Why do I want to be an author

Hey all,

So, I have wanted to be an author since I was 11 years old and it was only when I sat down to consider my writing goals for the year that I actually thought about why I want to be an author, after all, I never seem to meet any of the goals I set.

I have come to the realisation that I have two distinct sides to me; the part that longs to be an author and the part that is okay with me just dreaming to be an author. Which was a really sad realisation for me. Have any of you ever had a realisation like that before? It was terrifying.

So I have decided to put this in to post because I will not be the only writer out there that sits and thinks ‘why do I want to be an author?’ and even sitting there and thinking what the point is.

Throughout my early childhood I was always pushed to read and explore the written word. I remember getting through all of the books at my school library and being taken down to the public library every week to pick up 4 or 5 books to devour. Then one day, I was sat in literacy with Mrs Wilbury when I was introduced to creative writing and I sat and wrote my first short story.

Fun fact: My mom still has that terrible first story in my box of memories, I read it this week and it was about a young girl who got lost at school. It is still terrible.

And that was it. I wanted to always be writing.

I had found a calling, a passion that I hadn’t felt before. My young mind was alive and for 5 years (all the way through secondary school) I would always be writing. I had stories and poems published through the school. I entered writing competitions. I had teachers take my work and use them as examples for following years. I had found something I was good at and I had been recognised for it.

Then I went to college.

Now, for some unknown reason I didn’t do creative writing as part of my college years, I did extra credit work with creative writing groups but I never studied it. My juvenile mind decided I didn’t need to learn about it, after all I was already good at it. But, I soon got bogged down with the classes I was taking and my writing started to falter. Then it stopped for a while.

I missed it. I went through a really rough patch. My depression and anxiety had a death grip on me and I stopped functioning. I stopped pushing myself further than the edge of my bed. I stopped trying to find happy things to do. I stopped wanting to be good at anything.

Now for those that have battled the black dog before, know that pit. Where everything feels dark and cold, and hopeless.

It had me for months. Until my brother turned up at my bedroom door one evening with a book. He sat at the end of my bed and told me I looked like I needed a hug from an old friend. I thought he was going to hug me and I loathed physical contact so I rolled over. He left my room and when I finally turned back over I found Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling sat at the end of my bed.

I am a huge HP fan. I wrote so many fanfics and explored so much of the world in my writing that it felt like home to me. So I held the book. It took me two days to read the first page. It only took me a day to read it once I did.

Once I finished that first book I realised that I needed to take something back. That I needed to find something to work towards. And at the time, my greatest fear was that Dumbledore would be disappointed in me. I can laugh about it now but looking back I looked up to him so much for a fictional character that it literally pulled me out of a spiral. And then I was inspired again.

I wrote a short story that week. It was terrible. It was about a young boy, who had been taken by strangers when he was out with his friends. It was only 1000 words but the spark was lit and I found my light in the dark.

Now, I know that I will probably never have an effect on someone like J.K Rowling had on me that year. I know that there is the slimmest chance that anything I write will ever effect anyone. But, I have read so many interviews with J.K Rowling that I know she felt the same way. So if there is the smallest chance in the world that I can help someone at there low point, then I want to keep going until I do.

Books saved my life, in so many ways. Writing gave me purpose again. Words picked me up when I felt the weakest I had ever been. And it was all because someone didn’t stop from trying. Someone had the drive to be an author. And now I want to do that too.

I don’t ever want to stop writing. Even if I am only jotting down random ideas for 5 years instead of publishing a book. Even if I literally only write 1 word a day. I just don’t want to stop again.

And I don’t want you to either.

I know my story of why I want to become n author isn’t the smiling joy many people have, but I am curious. Why do you want to be an author? Why do you want to write? Let me know in the comments below!

Helen x


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