Once upon a time I was 11 and decide to write my own novel (I’ve still got it somewhere). Little did I know that I was writing fan fiction, was it even a thing then? This was back before the Internet existed, before Grunge, before a truly mobile phone and so all an 11 year old had to escape with was writing. Some people liked it. I got good marks and even had a poem published in the school newspaper, where it was printed before I had chance to think of a title. Why are titles so hard? I decided I wanted to be a writer. Cue the Careers Adviser telling me that was unrealistic. Cue my parents telling me I need a plan B.
I’m pretty stubborn and particularly belligerent when I’m told no so off I went to live the life (imagine it as clichéd as you can and you are probably half way there). I got some poems published and a short story. I went and studied a Creative Writing BA and then two MAs (because I’m indecisive).
All this time I was trying to figure out my plan B – what else did I give a fuck about? Then plan B got bigger, larger, wider, and then it got into my dreams like some insidious little demon that stops your legs working, your eyes opening. Then bash, crash, and my thoughts, after spending so long trying to get my attention, decided to go take a holiday where it was sunnier and warmer. I can’t blame them.
As someone far too reliant on musicians for life advice than is prudent, I started to look for guidance. After a drunk conversation with my guitar hero I realised that none of the people I admired even thought about having a plan B. They don’t prepare for failure.
So here it is, this, plan A. Publish or Die trying.
Beautiful. Perhaps unrealistic. Perhaps unrealisable. Who cares – it’s my dream.
Some people never even get to figure out their plan A. For those people, I say you’re welcome to the plan Bs I left lingering around somewhere.
And one day my guitar hero is going to get a novel dedicated to him, it’s the least I can do