So, the free event I did for Adult Learners’ Week on Tuesday went well. I’ve done a couple of events like this before (I’ve just noticed, to my horror, that the last one was five years ago), and always end up coming out of them thinking what a good idea they are; giving people the opportunity to learn something for free is, for me, absolutely what libraries are about. And, probably, what life’s about too, to an extent.
So yep, I enjoyed myself. I talked about writing a lot and I answered questions about writing, and all was good. And the one thing that stuck out during the course of the afternoon, the best advice I gave, was, I think: that if you want to write you just should. You should just sit down and do it, trust your story, and not worry about where you’ll end up – because that discovery and that journey is where the magic is.
The other bit was not being daunted. I think that it’s so easy, when we start out, to feel hopelessly unqualified to write and that’s, from personal experience, a really scary thing (and let’s not forget that I don’t even have A Levels). But every writer started somewhere, and they got where they are by writing. Even when it was scary. Even when they might have thought they weren’t good enough or qualified enough, or anything like that.
So if I was going to give any advice to anyone just starting out, for this week at least, it’d be this: Just do it. The fact that you WANT to puts you in a very, very good position before you’ve even started. And that’s a bit magic too.