Lying in bed this morning, once my boyfriend Steve had left for work (on a Saturday – he’s a broadcast journalist, apparently that’s what they do), I was thinking about writing. How I always loved it, prided myself on it, aspired towards it.
I began writing stories about a living bike called Spokey and a magical pony called Twinkle when I was six. Wrote and compiled endless stories about Lara Croft (yes, off Tomb Raider made her my own) a bit later on. Revelled in creative writing at school. Wanted to be a novelist. Wrote a personally embarrassing but surprisingly popular Beyblade fanfiction (I still feel a little guilty for never writing the sequel that I promised my 100+ readers). Swapped stories for essays in sixth form and university and began priding myself on this instead. Volunteered as an entertainment journalist during a Newspaper Journalism degree and wrote reviews on theatre, films and gigs (my first date with Steve was an Eliot Minor gig I was reviewing).
And then it was time to get a job.
Several work placements on newspapers had sufficiently frightened me away from a career in newspaper journalism and writing the entertainment reviews wasn’t earning me any money. However, I hadn’t even begun searching for a job before I was found by an employment agency and offered an internship as a junior account manager in PR, while still at work on my dissertation. I’d done work experience in PR – enjoyed some parts of it a lot and saw it as semi-creative (well, you get to use descriptive language) writing combined with faux journalism (without the less savoury parts).
Writing about how to style your home for Christmas using products from Interflora was the highlight of my PR career; while phoning up the organisers of every industry fair I could find, to ask them for something I didn’t understand on behalf of an engineering firm, was the low point. My salary was below taxable wage and every morning I had to use the intercom to ask to come in. It doesn’t feel right having to ask to come into work. Then I was offered a job as a sub-editor in London.
It offered a decent wage, a proper excuse to move out of the family home and in with my boyfriend and a big adventure that neither of us could refuse.
So here we are now. I’ve been sub-editing for around nine months now – I’ve learnt a lot about grammar, spelling and, of course, work holdings/printed circuit boards/grinders/filters/antibody assays and innumerable other strange devices involved in the engineering, processing, manufacturing, electronics and laboratory industries (the stories I edit revolve around these topics). Probably more than I will ever need or want to know, really. I enjoy my job – but writing’s role in my life has diminished to a shadow of its former self.
So that’s why I got out of bed, wrapped my pink and white polka-dot dressing gown round myself and sat down to start a blog. A very self-centred and uninteresting one, no doubt, seeing as I don’t have any aim for it except as writing practice and a thoughts outlet. But Steggy (that’s my dinosaur) thinks it’s a good idea.