Let’s get serious about childhood dreams.
Have you ever been sitting at work, head in your hand, fingers drumming out a tedious pattern of bored tapping on the desk, trying to picture the wage-packet at the end of the month as a way of coping with your current job choice?
“I have to be here, I have bills to pay.”
The amount of times I heard this at my old office became so frequent that it was almost background noise. It fitted in snugly with the humming of the computers and the bing-bong sound my headset used to make as it signalled a customer coming through to my line.
It was last summer that I managed to finally sell the house which financially tied me to my very sweet, but, man-of-dubious-life-choices, ex, and moved in with my adventurous, man-of-equally-dubious-but-way-more-fun-life-choices, new boyfriend. He asked me what my childhood dream had been?
It was like a forgotten memory. I dredged the lake of my sub-conscious and found it there, growing moss right at the bottom in the mud. Underneath episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and a genuine mountain of Disney VHS tapes. (That’s like a normal movie that you download, kids, except bulkier and your Mum kills you if you don’t put it back in the right box, fully re-wound).
I wanted to be an author.
I remember proudly telling people this at the age of six or so, puffing out my small chest and announcing it to various grown-ups who would smile sagely and ruffle my hair. They would titter and tell me that’s wonderful, but maybe I should aim for something a bit less “Out-There”?
As I grew up myself, the dream became a bit squashed and thrown about. It didn’t quite fit in the neat adult box of general job expectations, the kind with a predictable monthly payslip and safe pension option. I watched my ambition evolve through:
“I’m going to be an author!” Age six.
“Well…I’d like to be an author, but I’ll probably be a nurse or something…” Age twelve.
“I don’t really know what I want to be. Something that means I can buy a house.” Age eighteen.
Just to catch you up to speed, what I actually ended up doing was a rather expensive and pointless degree before falling into retail work, a brief interim with a truly insane mailing house graphic designer, and then call-centre work for a utility company.
A dazzling array of personal achievement, I’m sure you can agree.
When I updated my new (and rather wonderful) boyfriend on these facts, he laughed and said these magical words to me;
“Why don’t you chase your dreams?”
I didn’t have a suitable answer to his question. He made it sound so simple. I knew if I’d been one of the long line of grown-ups in my life, I would have come back at him with many logical arguments as to why that would be a ludicrous way to spend my time.
I’m not those grown-ups, though. I’m me.
His question uncovered a world of hope and opportunity in my mind and it suddenly seemed like such an easy thing to try and achieve. Why not? What have I got to lose?
So here I am, hi everyone! My name is Charlotte (or Lottie, if you prefer) and I want to be an author.
A published one, at least. In my heart, I already am one.
I’ve started a blog because I think it’s a good way to practice creative writing and setting my own deadlines and hitting them. I wasn’t entirely sure what to write about but I think the journey of becoming a writer would be a good general theme. I’m sure it will tangent off occasionally. The point is to have fun.
I have no knowledge on agents, publishers, social media marketing and only have the faintest grasp on basic English grammar but that’s actually okay. Because we all have to start somewhere.
(I just started a sentence with Because. I swear that’s not a good thing.)
I’d better start this all with a helpful book…