Whilst having my blood taken this week I casually dropped into the conversation I was a writer. Or more precisely househusband/ writer. That’s a writer who writes in-between cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, ironing and a million other things around the home. At which point the phlebotomist tells me “My niece is a writer. Do you have any advice for her?”
This is the first time anyone has asked that question. I’m caught on the back foot and before I can stop myself I say “Don’t” This affords me the dirtiest of dirty looks. Backpedaling like crazy I add ‘unless you really have to’ Which gifts me another look. Puzzlement or bewilderment judging by the deep furrows on her brow.. Trying desperately to hang onto my reputation and possibly future reader, I offered this.
“I believe there are those who write because they enjoy it. It fills the time and they are being creative. There are others who write because they are driven to do so. Something inside them compels them.” The furrows were less defined then so I continued.
“So, a question to ponder with your next tea and hobnob. Which do you think best fits your niece? With one your response to her writing can be encouraging, with the other you will have to be honest.”
I was now presented with yet another look, a kind of ‘oh shit’ behind the eyes. Or ‘Christ I wish I hadn’t asked now’ look.
“Well you do have a way with words that’s for sure. Thank you. That’s given me a lot to think about.” She said.