Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's never too late

I like to think of myself as fearless.

If an opportunity comes along to shake up my life and do something different, I willingly embrace it. Even better if it means leaving behind familiar faces, a steady job or a settled apartment. And the more fear the decision brings the better, because that means I’m really living and growing rather than just existing and stagnating.

Seven years ago I met a man and we spent three very passionate and intense days together. He returned to London and I followed him there six months later. (Not that he had much choice in the matter as I was on a roll.) At that point we had probably spent a total of three weeks in each other’s company. I swapped a familiar life for a completely unknown one. And it paid off several times over.

Since then I’ve changed my career five times, left ten jobs - usually without another job to go to as I’m pretty work shy - bummed around Australia for a year and generally liked to shake it up whenever possible. But one thing eluded me. I had always thought of myself as a writer, yet I wasn’t writing regularily.

Other things just got in the way – travel, paying the bills, not feeling settled. But once we bought our place in Dublin I couldn’t pack it in and move again for five years for various tax reasons. The thought of that long without another shake up made me depressed. For the sake of my sanity and to avoid losing my friends and family due to becoming a moany sap, I decided to do the next best thing – leave my well paid job and start writing full time.

Which brings us to this morning when it suddenly dawned on me that I’ve been kidding myself all this time. Other things did not get in the way of my writing at all. The truth is that I was afraid of putting myself out there as a writer and failing at the one thing I really wanted to do. Travelling or going from job to job was just an easier choice to make.

I mulled this realisation over for a while. At first I felt a little regret. What if I had picked up a pen earlier – would I be published now? What could I have achieved? But I also felt glad that I had satisfied my itchy feet in my twenties. Otherwise I may have started writing too soon and given it up because I wanted to do other things. Or I may have written dross because I didn’t have the writing experience I have now. (My most recent jobs have seen me write for other people, just not for myself.) In other words, I probably started writing now because it was the right time for me to do so.

Then I got up and wrote this.


hellojed said...

I've submitted this post to Five on the Fifth at the Seabird Chronicles.

DigitalRich said...

Thanks for participating in the 7th edition of 'The Carnival of the Storytellers.' The edition is posted at: