|Posted by Barnaby on March 4, 2012 at 8:20 AM|
I've written since I could write. Obviously.
But, I haven't stopped. I love to write. Even when I was bed-bound and exhausted with the start of a very long-term illness, I would write letters to people, poems about my surroundings, and stories to entertain me. I couldn't actually stop.
I had a 'purple period' in the mid 1990s. This wasn't the point where I started swanning around in purple clothes and claiming I was Oscar Wilde. No, this was when I wrote an awful lot, which was mostly all pretty good. I don't say that easily, as my ego has never attained to much however hard I stroke it, but because a lot of my writing was reviewed or published or performed and it all seemed to be consistently of a high standard.
But, it's only now that I've decided to call myself a writer. I mean, I've written for TV, radio and stage but I never felt like it was my main 'thing'. I've acted, improvised and performed and they all felt more like me than sitting at a desk and channelling my imagination onto a computer screen.
I'm no literary giant. I just like to entertain. As long as my writing gets a reaction, then that's all that mattered. If it's ignored or uninteresting, then I've failed in what I've set out to do. I can't claim that I'll ever be a great writer, by any standard, but then I'm not sure I want to be. I've never courted fame or success, I've always just done what I wanted to do in order to please myself and entertain others. That sounds like a calling for fame but it isn't. I like being on the outskirts. I don't like the cut-and-thrust of false friends and even more false acquaintances. I've had that with groups of people over the last half a decade, all of whom were hungry for success and adulation and all of whom would tread over whoever to get there. When this happens, I'm usually left behind wondering why they bother. As a writer, you get the chance to avoid the shallow people, unless you're writing about them. In your own company, you can create the world you want to live in or the world in which others want to delve into. I'm not a loner, by any means. I love company and I struggle when I don't see people. But, I also love the satisfaction of shutting myself away and creating something that's totally mine - not watered down by having others involved, or twisted into a vision by other people's words or worries, and not taken away from me unless I want to let it go. I suppose it's all about control. You can't control your friends but you can control your characters. It's a valuable life lesson.
So, I'm a writer first, before anything else. And whether I'm a good one or not, is not for me to decide. As long as I enjoy it, I'll continue doing it. It's as simple as that.