I've had a week of some disappointment, tempered with some kind words, some harsh words, some honest words, and lots of great advice; for everything but the disappointment I have a writer named Andrea to thank. She has a terrific blog:
which is shrine to all things style, and literary, and obviously some of the style rubbed off on the literary because she is about to have a book published!
And I have had a week in which to think, what if?
What if I couldn't be a writer? What would I do? What could I do?
I'll start with the last question.
I could be a painter: I paint, I'm not too awful, I could do that...maybe...if I had to...but I like to keep that as my hobby, my pass time: it helps me unwind, helps me to think, helps me see the words to paint my stories - writing and painting are both art. I write in pictures anyway, writing is much more than words to me.
I would probably continue to look after my kids, be a stay at home mum until my youngest starts school and then go into teaching - the thing I was meant to do some years ago - the thing I took my highschool maths five times for (I have dyscalculia...numbers and I have a strange relationship: I'm like an accidental, A sexual patron in a strip club - numbers are the strippers who dance around me, I'm not allowed to touch and I don't get them). I would teach...if I had to...I would enthuse a generation with the love of words, I would infuse their senses with the love of language...I would amuse them with my love of books; 'this one smells like a good 'un' I'd say.
It would come back to writing somehow.
If I couldn't be a writer, I couldn't be a painter, a teacher, a mother; simply, I couldn't be me.
I will write because I have to. It's what I have done since I was as old as my daughter is now, and I took my story to show my teacher and she said, 'but they're not your words' - but they were. To get one of my stories published would be a huge buzz, an achievement, and a way - besides my children - to achieve immortality. I would jump up and down until I felt sick and dizzy, and shout 'weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!' I would run with barefooted jubilance down the street, and exclaim, 'they are my words!' And then I would go back to being me; and write - quietly, because my books would be shouting.
If I never get a book published I will write.