Why do I Write?

I was ten. Living in St Ives, an upper middle class suburb on the outskirts of Sydney. I came home from school with a plan. I had Maths homework but that wasn’t urgent. No, at that moment I had an Idea for a story and I was desperate to get it out. So I lied to mum and told her my homework was to write a story. I then went to my room and wrote until my hand ached.
I think it was a ghost story, though the details are a bit vague after 36 years. I don’t remember much of that evening, though I do remember letting my mum read it. I felt guilt for lying but pride at her praise.
I set my alarm and went to bed, awakening to the sound of swan lake at 3 o’clock in the morning. (Courtesy of a Japanese clock I’d taken from my father.)
Turning on my bedside lamp I sat up in bed and did my Maths homework.
Just before I’d finished I looked up to see a man in his thirties, wearing a leather jacket standing in the darkened hall. He stood there for a good two or three seconds before taking two steps into the light of my room and vanishing.
From that event was born a passion for writing, the way the characters came to life. Even now, when I’m writing my novel, I find it hard to return to the real world when I walk away from the computer.


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