ImposterTuesday, August 02, 2016
Much as I adore taking pictures with my camera then writing my thoughts down to empty my mind, with the end result complete and scheduled for publishing, doubt creeps in. I'm convinced that with every coming post I'll be rumbled as a clueless pretender, that you'll realise actually I'm rubbish at producing content. Somehow, I've got away with it day after day for years. One day someone will notice that actually I'm just no good. In real life nobody considers me creative.
Thinking back to when I was younger I was always interested in writing things down. Little poems. Thoughts. Notes to people. Letters. Lists. Writing stories. As a child I was happy left to write whatever I fancied, but remember the lack of interest with which they were received when I excitedly read them out. Naturally, you can't please everyone. Grandparents did seem much more easily impressed by things. One memory that really sticks in my mind was when I created a little story book and illustrated it myself when I was around 10. The paper was some curious old fashioned writing paper and string was threaded through a hole in each sheet to keep them together. The story itself was about a few friends joining a football team. My handwriting was abominable; the letters all different shapes and sizes, weaving their way round the pages and defying gravity.
Recently, I found the book again in the stash of things Mum keeps from our childhoods. Knowing it would be there (they weren't all that many things worthy of keeping) it filled me with nostalgia seeing the paper again. The mini book obviously had an impact on my (paternal) grandfather; when I was 15 and the question of career paths reared it's ugly head I received a typewritten letter from him. This baffled me slightly, but even more than the idea of him writing to me was what he actually wrote. He questioned whether I had considered becoming an author as the story about the footballers I had read out some years before had stuck with him. My grandfather put forward the suggestions of how I could go about writing a book and the realistic practicalities of being a writer. I dug out the letter a few minutes ago, knowing exactly where to find it. Reading through it brought a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat. His enthusiasm and sincerity was touching; the letter came with a sheet of notes jotted down with perhaps how to create an ideas board for a story's format.
Racking my brains I can honestly say that nobody else has ever encouraged my writing in the least, not even vaguely. Perhaps he would have been the only one to support my blog. Perhaps, in the back of my mind his letter written in 2001 gave me the thumbs up to go ahead with writing down my thoughts, sharing my ideas. No, I'm not ready to consider writing a book yet. Probably no more so than half a lifetime ago, but that's not to say never.
Sadly, my grandfather passed away several years ago, before I started this blog. I like to think that even if everyone else in my family were to disapprove of it (if they were to find out - you know I like to keep things to myself) that my grandfather would have enjoyed being an approver against the flow.
That letter is one I will treasure forever. Someone had faith in my creativity.