Wednesday 3 September 2014

Ask Me Anything

What made you decide you wanted to be a writer? Why are you so firm on that idea? I'm a little older than you but I still have no idea what I want to do with my life. Emelia x

   I first decided I wanted to be a writer when I was 12. I can actually tell you that it was in October 2003, actually, and I remember that because it was then that I finished reading The Lord of the Rings. It started with me seeing the first film when it was on the TV, I think. I'd been exposed to fantasy before, but it was fantasy that always freaked me out, like the Wizard of Oz or...I've forgotten what it's called, the film with the Goblin King, David Bowie. Those films always really freaked me out, and I never saw the appeal of such dark fantasy. But The Lord of the Rings offered such a bright, brilliant fantasy that I'd never seen before, with new races, a new world, magic - it was so new and enchanting to me. After I watched that, my dad leant me his copies of the Lord of the Rings and I couldn't put them down. I finished during the school holidays in October, and when school started back up, I walked through the gates with my friends and declared that I wanted to be a writer. My best friend looked up and said the same thing, and both of us have been writing ever since, both fantasy - though completely different types of fantasy, mind you.
   I wrote about 5 'books' (23-82 A5 pages) which basically saw me copy the Lord of the Rings with Elves as the main characters. I hand-wrote them, drew the covers, sticky-back-plasticked them and everything. I've kept them all for nostalgia's sake, but once I'd written them I tried my hand at normal stories. I used the TV show 'Friends' as my style but gave it a punky twist - it was so lame, and yet I wrote 16 of them! I returned to fantasy after that because I just lost interest in the style, I yearned to create my own world, and since then - the last one was written in 2007 - I returned to fantasy and have been firmly stuck into it since.

   I've had other, fleeting dreams since I was 12 - I wanted to be in a band, I wanted to be an actress - but they never stuck. I went from band to band, 5 in total, and kept giving up and losing interest, and I never actually got a single acting lesson, the best I did was audition for Les Mis in high school. Didn't get any part. But writing was still something I wanted to do even throughout all of that, it was always part of my plan to publish at some point, and that never once wavered.

   As for knowing what you want to do with your life, it's not something you can force. If you've not yet found something you love enough to want to make your life in then maybe you need to branch out, try new things. I've often seen myself as a jack of all trades, master of none. I wonder if I have a true, indisputable natural talent for something, something obscure to me like golf, but I'll never know because I doubt I'll ever try.
   Something I've seen a lot of on 9gag as well is the notion that people worry more about making money and paying bills than doing something they love with their life. Yes, you need money, whether we like it or not it is what makes the world go around, without it you've got no home, no food. But you also have to realise that if you choose a profession based on paycheque rather than passion, you're going to have a miserable life.
   So yes, get a job, make some money and survive, but find a hobby, find something you enjoy. If you stick to it and get good at it, you can make money from it.
   Say, for example, you love horse riding. Professions? Horse trainer, a teacher for horse riding, a jockey. You love drawing/painting/digital painting; professions: concept artist, general artist, commissioned artist (portraits, etc). You enjoy parties; professions: party planner, designer, decorator, hostess. If there's something you love enough to do often, then you will get better at it in time, and you will find some way to make a living from it - it won't be fast, but you'll be happy, and if you stick with it you'll get there in time.
   Like I said, you can't rush it. My boyfriend, Seeg, also has no idea what he truly wants to do, and his greatest passion are games. To people uninterested in games it can seem like a fruitless passtime, but there are many professions revolving around games, though they are areas that require training as well as passion and positions are few, but by going for it, sticking with it and so on, you'll stand out in the end.

   So, my advice to you, Emelia, is if you don't know what you want to do with your life, stop thinking about money and think about enjoyment. When someone asks you what you enjoy doing in your spare time, there's bound to be one answer that comes immediately to mind above all others - whether you tell people what it is or not. I suggest you embrace whatever that is, regardless of what others think. Even if it's pole dancing, because who the hell's business is it but yours, anyway? Dreams are dreams. 


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