Deciding how to hold the pen and what my hand-writing looked like took me a long time. I never had dyslexia, dyspraxia or any learning disability, I was just indecisive and paid too much attention to the way others wrote. This wasn’t particularly helped by my other talent, either: I’m ambidextrous. I love being ambidextrous. I remember switching between hands when I was learning to write and copying other people’s writing styles. I found an art for different writing forms and loved to experiment with shaping the letters differently. This fascination with pen-man ship would partially form my love for writing.
All through my childhood, I had a love for magic. The thought of being able to control things with your mind or do things that others couldn’t fascinated me. I don’t actually remember which I discovered first, The Worst Witch or Harry Potter, but they shaped my childhood and filled my head with all sorts of magic and characters. I loved reading and watching the characters learn magic, cast spells, fly on broom sticks, stand up to bullies and be surrounded by friends. The characters weren’t so in-depth in The Worst Witch but Harry Potter saw character growth and back story with its own world to get lost in.
My primary school was tiny, so lack of friends was a bit of an issue when everybody knew each other so, with a bit of influence from a girl at a neighbouring school commenting on their friend groups, I invented some characters for myself and played out their shenanigans in my head. It wasn’t all magical, at first. It started off as an escape mechanism. I still retreated to my favourite stories, but having my own characters with sole control over them was an outlet I valued. Little did I know that the primary characters from this would grow up with me to become the main inspiration for my fantasy novels.
My characters played out in my head at first, or I acted it out with imaginary people (I used to want to be an actor!), and it developed into writing down plans for what happened. Having pets and magic featured a lot in what I planned in my notebooks. Eventually, my mum suggested I write the stories of what I imagined and planned. I was never good at how to start them and I never stuck to one story because I kept thinking up new ideas.
When I was eleven, I found Star Trek: Voyager and fell in love with the show! The spaceships were different, the setting was a futuristic utopia with space exploration and battles. Watching the Star Trek series ignited my love for science fiction. They lived by good moral principles, had abolished famine and currency, were in a united federation of planets which brought a whole sense of community and there was plenty of story line and fighting. Through Star Trek, I found Star Wars, Firefly and a general love for space-dwelling science-fiction.
I finally settled my writing style and how to hold the pen when I was in sixth form. I still play with calligraphy and fancy writing styles but found my own style. I also found my love for creative writing in the form of wanting to be an author rather than just wanting to put my ideas on a notepad. Finding the Creative and Professional Writing course at University was what I needed, especially after trying to think of what career I wanted (and a lot of eighteen year olds have no idea), and I learned a lot from the lecturers and other students.
Everything that I experience in my childhood, most of which hasn’t made it to this blog entry, transformed me into a fantasy writer.