How To Be a Writer

Begin with lines drawn in the sand, chalk squiggles on the garage wall, pictures drawn on steamed up windows.

Then your name, traced across your mother’s dots in crayon.

Write stories in your creative writing lesson, with a drawing of a princess with impossibly long yellow hair and a face splitting grin.

Write birthday cards and thank you letters.

Write jokes and quotes and I love A-Ha on your secondary school rough book.

Begin to read Douglas Adams and Arthur C.Clarke.

Fall in love with TV adaptation of Anne of Green Gables and Little Women and dream of your own dusty garret.

Study literature, fall in love, get married (far too young).

Live in a one-bed flat above a drug dealer.

Have two babies.

Move county, and then back to your homelands.

Write sermons, learn how to tell stories.

Teach adult literacy, year one phonics, poetry, Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Morpurgo.

Read for your life.

Imagine worlds, places and people.

Get lost in music.

Get sick, then better.

Get divorced.

Go to Germany on your own and walk through vineyard valleys with strangers.

Fall in love again, get married again, sharing cake and blowing bubbles by an ancient yew tree.

Midwife your mother to, and through, her death.

Wake up everyday with wonder at the incredible beauty, pain, brevity and sumptuousness of life.

Pick up a pen.

Sit down at a keyboard.

Begin.

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