Writing about writing is a new departure for me. I rarely even talk about it - except with a handful of very close writing friends.
My parents were very supportive when I said I wanted to be a writer. They bought me a reconditioned office typewriter for my 16th birthday. It was an Adler and I adored it and I was going to write my masterpiece on it. I can still remember the smell of it and the shiver of anticipation I used to get when I sat down to write - which was every evening after work.
There was a girl at my office who used to break things. On her first day she broke her dictaphone. Then she broke her typewriter and so I brought mine in for her to use until the boss could get her a new one. She broke that too. "I don't know what you're so upset about," the boss said. "It was only an old one." It wasn't old to me. I'd only had it for two years. He didn't replace it. What was the point? What did I need a typewriter at home for?
He'd seen my copy of the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook and it had given him a good old laugh when I said I wanted to be a writer. Back then I wanted to write books. I still do.
So I bought a portable typewriter through an ad in a magazine. It was dreadful. The print was uneven and even with a new ribbon, the letters didn't come out properly, but I wrote an awful lot of stories on that thing and some of them I sold.
Talk about going off the subject. I just wanted to say that this doesn't come easily to me. I have been ridiculed over the years by people when I've said what I do for a living. I remember several of the nasty little comments that were made and I am thankful for them. Why? Because by telling me that I had no chance, those people gave me the shove I needed to do it.
There is still an element of nose-looking-down when people find out how I earn my living and I've had people ask if I'm still "Writing your little stories?"
Yes I am. And I'm writing a lot more besides. Stuff that will probably never see the light of day. Or maybe it will. If I have learned one thing apart from keeping myself to myself it is never to give up hope.