I have this vivid memory of standing on the asphalt netball court of my primary school playground and announcing grandly to a fellow classmate that my ambition was to write a book. Looking back I must have easily been around grade four. Perhaps grade five? To this day I don't know where that statement came from. I love writing and still hold the lofty ambition of one day actually writing a published novel of some kind, but to say that at such a young age?
I achieved my Arts degree later in life, I was an older student, being thirty years old, and majored in Literature, doing this precisely before having my first child. The study came later on in life, mostly because I felt unsupported in my home life with my academic studies when I was in high school. But I try not to lay all the blame at parental feet because I'm a true believer that you are what you make of it. If you say you're going to do something then do it. When I started my degree my grandmother was adamant that I kept telling her that one day I was going to write and be a journalist. When I was in high school I harboured ambitions to study journalism but it was not to be - and truthfully I don't think I'm cut out for that particular profession.
In the last fifteen or so years I've been noticing something. Almost everything I have set out to do, I have done. It's been a lot of incremental things; getting married, buying a house, having children, studying, traveling, and now the extension. I have slowly set goals for myself and looking back I can see that I have achieved most of them. All except this one.
So even though I uttered that grandiose statement in my pre-pubescent years, I feel that I should hold myself accountable to it. I remember reading or hearing somewhere that the average age of an author is 50. I'm 38, so I reckon that I've got a bit more time up my sleeve to make that statement come true.
Today I read in the paper that 'Late-blooming' authors had won two of the Prime Minister's Literary awards. I was heartened to read this. Stephen Daisley is 56 and wrote the winning novel Traitor.