What did I want to be when I was older? It changed weekly. Power ranger, footballer, boy-bander (embarrassingly), wrestler, paramedic, pro skater, and on and on and on.
It seems this chopping and changing was to be the blueprint of my life. Jack of all trades, dabbling in this and that, never pursuing anything very far at all. I moved on from one thing to the next, getting at best a basic understanding of whatever it was before abandoning it.
So, roads not taken. Or rather roads taken, departed from, new paths found and likewise left. I didn’t get very far. Always backtracking and deviating. I never followed things through.
What did that get me? A smattering of this, a smidgen of that. I never excelled at anything.
But it turns out that a Jack of all trades is a good thing for a writer to be. Having a small amount of (mostly superficial) knowledge of a wide range of subjects is a broad and rich well of ‘inspiration’ to draw from. Anything I need to know deeper I can bolster up with research – research and reading being important writerly traits.
I think a writer has to, in some way, hold a mirror up to the world, and that means reflecting all the complexity that therein lies. Whether a novelist, journalist or poet, the writer has to be adaptable. She/he must morph into myriad forms.
My horse-changing youth led me to being a writer. Jack of all trades, hopefully, some day, master of one.*
*Well, if I can get the funding to do the Professional Writing MA then I will, technically, be a Master (on paper if not in practice) which sounds pretty cool.