That’s Not What I wanted


I have been writing since I was about eight or nine. Short little stories to read to my younger siblings about the animals or trees and life on the farm around us. As I grew older, my writing became romantic with poems and love letters to my heart’s desire and passionate stories about my knight on his white charger.  

In the days of pen and paper I used to communicate with penpals from around the world. I used to write long and newsy, and often made up, letters about my life in the tiny farm where I grew up.  We were in a remote area of the African bush and it was rare to have visitors or see anyone.  we used to go on a holiday to the seaside every year where we spent the first few days in silent, awestruck and often fearful wonder at the different world around us.  My penpals opened up such a realm of exotic places and lives, their letters always sounded so exciting and full of fun.  I couldn’t compete with that in my tiny farmhouse where we had no electricity, constantly had visitations from snakes, scorpions and other creepy crawlies, had wild animals wondering into the yard and around us, rescued baby elephants, impalas and anything else wild from bush fires or poachers so I used to make up a lot of my news.  Now I look back and think “stupid, stupid, stupid, that was such an exciting, adventurous life, why didn’t I savour it more!”

As life and marriage and babies moved on, my writing became personal, rambling journal entries talking mainly to myself, about myself, short empassioned stories about what a terrible life I led.  When I read over them now I think what a silly person I must have been with all my dreams and sulks and moans.  I also used to collect quotations, sayings and poems which I wrote out in my journals.  I have a lot of journals now tucked away in a box and I wonder what I should do with them because some of the entries should definitely not be allowed out in public!

Now in the computerised, technological age we have reached, my writing has grown and I write stories and download stories and copy quotations and poems from magazines or download them from the internet.  I spend hours delving into other peoples lives through their blogs and sites. Unfortunately the internet has also opened up for me the world of how I should be writing, what I should be doing according to all the online professionals. What a good thing I never tried to print anything I wrote, I would have been rejected and hurt!  The way I wrote and what I thought were good stories were perhaps not.  They were immaturely written and lacked proper grammar and style and even the content was boring.  So maybe I wasn’t a writer and  all my years had been wasted.  There was no way I could compete with what I could see on the internet, I was no good.

I started joining writing workshops and taking courses and worrying and feeling embarrassed about my style and lack of knowledge.  I have read copious amounts of instruction and printed and memorised numerous help pages from bloggers and writers online who helpfully shared their ideas with me.  I have changed a lot of my stories to try and copy the way others have done theirs.  Maybe now I should try and get it published, it looks and sounds just like the article “” just published on his site so why not go for it?

Wait, stop!  Who wrote this?  It looks just like “” why are they writing under another name now?  This is their style and their format and yet the article has a different author name.  Why should we publish this, its obviously someone trying to copy “”?  Its a blasphemy, a joke, ban this author, denounce them to the world.  Never allow them to publish anything as they have stolen the work from “”



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