Do you think the urge to write is innate – a quirk of the genes we are born with? Or is it behaviour learned from observing parents, role models or others close to us? Or could it be something else entirely, a random striking of inspiration, a bolt from the blue?
My Dad is a writer and, although it was never his day-job, the image of him sitting in an armchair, pad of paper on his knee, scribbling away with a fountain pen, is one that sums him up for me in many ways. His stories and poems are woven throughout my childhood memories along with all the other books he and my mum read to us. My uncles are writers too, my grandfather is a wonderful storyteller and, in fact, everywhere you look in my family, there seems to be a passion for reading, writing, stories, books and well, just words in general.
So maybe my writing ambitions were inevitable. Certainly, I remember having ‘writer’ on my list of future careers (along with ‘vet’ and ‘air hostess’!) from a very early age. Why it took me ’till a few years ago to actually realise it was a career I wished to pursue, I have no idea.
The lovely thing is, I’m now seeing this passion for books in my sons too: my eldest (8) is a prolific reader and his younger brother (6) isn’t far behind. They both love to write too – I came down to breakfast the other morning to find them both with their heads down over pieces of paper, concentrating hard. “Good morning boys!” I chimed (oh, ok, since it was morning, I probably grunted it) only to be met with “Shhhhh, we’re writing our novels!” Oh, ok then.
Yesterday I found this on the kitchen table, written by my six-year-old:
I have no idea what a ‘wild life tiger toothed fish ocean’ is but I’m very glad the cows escaped from those nasty humans. Mind you, reading it again… three little cows who had to escape two big humans… that’s not a metaphor for him and his brothers having to escape their Dad and me is it? Hmmm, the less said about that the better!
How about you – does writing run in your family? Are there any passions of yours that you see reflected in your children?