So I should probably introduce myself and the purpose of this blog. I’m Carly, I’m 30 years old and I live in a medium-sized town in Mid-Wales that you probably haven’t heard of. Currently I’m a stay at home mum to my 2 year old daughter, but this isn’t going to be a parenting blog. Rather it’s going to be a whatever-takes-my-interest blog, with the main aim being for me to practise my writing skills and to produce good, thought-provoking and entertaining content. This is largely because I have decided to try my hand at starting up a career in freelance writing. As it happens, I’ve never been a freelance anything before, so this is a complete venture into the unknown for me, and I hope to chart my progress via this blog. If any of you reading this are already involved in freelance writing, do feel free to post a comment, as I always welcome any advice.
This actually isn’t my first blog. I’ve previously blogged about my Design degree and Japanese cookery, which is a particular hobby of mine. Much as I loved writing for those, I ended up deleting them, as I found them too limiting in their subject matter. Sometimes I wanted to write, but not necessarily about the same topic over and over. This is where ‘Human. Writes.’ will be different. I chose the name as this is just me, on my own haphazard human journey, bouncing through life, writing about whatever captures my interest. Incidentally I am also passionate about human rights and social justice, so it’s very likely that many of my posts will focus on political issues and current affairs. Things are getting pretty hot in the world right now, and it excites me that we live in a time where anyone with an internet connection can broadcast their own thoughts on this.
This blog will therefore get controversial at times, but never just for controversy’s sake. My previous blog was largely instructional, and after a while I started to feel frustrated with the role that it placed me in. That of the little woman in her kitchen, just making nice food and writing about it. This time I relish the fact that things will be getting a lot more personal, and I’ll also be exploring some difficult issues that I have gone through in my own life, as I would like to be able to help others who may be struggling in the same way.
I’ll admit that at 30 years old, it’s taken me somewhat longer than most people to finally decide on a career path. This is mostly because I’ve spent my entire adult life deciding on various careers, that ultimately fizzled out before fruition. These included, but were by no means limited to; archaeologist, pet shop owner, film director, musician and fashion designer of psychedelic baby clothing. It seems strange now, because re-winding back to my childhood, it has always been obvious that writing was the avenue I needed to pursue. For starters, I’ve always enjoyed it and have never found it difficult. Challenging at times yes, but not difficult. I had an advanced reading age when I started school and an obsession with books. All of the books that I read were from the older children’s classes, and by the time I was eight, I was reading from the teacher’s bookshelf and enjoying such classics as Rebecca, Little Women and Vanity Fair. I really loved those books, and I loved having the opportunity to read them, as there was no such literature at home. I came from a regular working-class family, and the titles we owned largely consisted of instructional gardening books, cookbooks and the dictionary. So I read all of those anyway.
Writing stories was by far my favourite part of the school day. I would get so excited to scribble my thoughts down as fast as possible that I was frequently told off for completely illegible handwriting. At 9 years old, I was the only child in the school to win a prize in a county-wide story competition. I came ‘highly commended’ and had my story published and illustrated as part of the Bookrunner collection, which I was phenomenally overjoyed about. I’d been writing stories obsessively since I was about five years old, and at this age I can recall regularly handing my completed little bundle of papers over to the teacher and requesting that they ‘staple my book’. The adults always seemed to enjoy reading my stories, as much as I did writing them. My stories were… well let’s just say peculiar. I know this because my family kept them all, in several large boxes, and it’s been fun to read them and rediscover just how bonkers small children’s brains really are. A few of my titles included ‘Vester and Growmore End Up Somewhere’, ‘The Quest to the Land of Volcanic Sweed’ and ‘Carly’s Bestest Book of Acorns’ (which consisted of all four lines of my acorn knowledge, along with various other scientific experiments, such as ‘how to make a rainbow’ with a torch and a jug of water). So… yes, I’ve never been entirely normal. Although what tends to be seen as charming weirdness in a child of 8, can rapidly become a stone around your neck once you reach your teens.
As I grew older, I struggled with various personal difficulties in my life and developed mental health problems. My confidence took a dip once I reached high school, and I largely gave up writing (with the exception of my nightly diary), as I began to lose faith in my abilities. Recovering from that period of my life has proved challenging on many levels, but I’ve always found writing to be the therapy that can ultimately get me through anything. That alone, must surely mean I’ve found my calling?
We are surrounded by writing in our daily lives. So much so, that it’s easy to take for granted the people that put so much effort into making it well-written, interesting, factually correct and all the rest of it. I used to brush off the idea of being a freelancer as a pipe dream, something other people do. But then it struck me that actually, this is something a lot of people do. The internet thrives on writing (and nobody cares about bad handwriting! Take that Mr. Year 3 teacher!), and so somebody has to write it all. It occurred to me that if I can write well, why can’t that somebody be me?
Let’s see where this goes. Here’s to the journey…