I was having something of an anxiety attack about my lofty aspirations and future. I decided rather than fret all day, I’d share some sage advice with you. This comes from Mur Lafferty, author and podcast producer of many books (including Playing For Keeps), columnist, and host of the writing podcast I Should Be Writing. There are several really good writing podcasts available (and I will endeavour to feature some of them on this blog in the future), but none of them embody the sheer single minded focus of I Should Be Writing.
The truth is it is perfectly wonderful to hear about what authors are doing. It can be interesting to hear about other people’s creative processes and pitfalls. It can even be useful to listen to specific writing instruction. The power of I Should Be Writing is that ‘wannabe’ writers are consistently delivered back to their own hands.
Mur Lafferty (they call her “Mighty” Mur for a reason):
But something else has been occuring to me. When you’re a parent you look at this little bundle of potential and you think, I want everything for you. I want you to have the chance to do anything you want. I want you to be the first woman on the moon, I want you to be the first person on Mars. I want you to be an inventor or president or a star basketball player or a football player or whatever you want for your kid. You look at them and think, you tell them, you can do it. And if they say, “No, I’m a girl, girls don’t do that” or “I’m too short to play basketball,” you know, you can pull up. Here’s Amelia Earhart. Here’s Muggsy Bogues – he was 5’3 and he played in the NBA. You want to tell your kid that they can do anything.
But if your kid knows that your dream is to be a writer and you’re not following that, then why the hell should they believe you when you say you can do anything you want to do? Because this is me guys, this is me telling you. I don’t care if you’re 15, if you’re 40, if you’re 80 – you can be anything you want to be. And if you want to be a writer, then be a writer. And remember that your kids are watching you and they learn from you. And if you have a dream, and you tell your kid that you have a dream, then follow it and that will give them the courage. They’ll understand.
I should be dreaming, and you should too. Fuck the nahsayers.