Christmas, 1956. A female writer, having recently found herself an agent, is given a pricey and priceless gift. Her friends surprise her with a year's worth of wages so she can write without worrying about the daily details such as food and upkeep. No doubt she was hesitant at using her friends' money this way, but she takes the opportunity.
Of course, she isn't published within that year. Two and a half years later, her disjointed manuscript is taken by an editor and tweaked and loved until...July 11, 1960. The book becomes an instant classic.
To Kill A Mockingbird is an undisputed masterpiece and was even voted the best novel of the 20th century. But would Harper Lee ever have managed to write and then rewrite it with the limited time she had around the working week? It's awfully hard to throw your full self into a manuscript when most of your hours are spent watching time slip away from you. Imagine having 9-to-5 filled with writing!
August, 2014. "But now I am left to mourn/the loss of dreams and time," I agonise in a poem, spilling my frustration into verse. The previous year, I had discovered that I was actually capable of writing novel-length stories. But then my real life had arrived - I was given a full time job.
Unfortunately, I spent the entirety of 2014 unable to write anything substantial and my productivity had dropped in all time low. I would return home at the end of the day, my mind dulled by a peculiar mix of boredom and stress. But I had to grow up. I had to accept my cage.
I had a way out.
During 2014, I sped from single to exclusive to engaged to a wonderful man who, quite conveniently, started to earn a very decent salary. He hinted that I might give up on the hard slog and become a writer, because it's what I loved.
December, 2014. I leap into the unknown, but I am supported by a generous benefactor. I don't need to worry about food or rent.
How could I ignore the opportunity? How could I waste the chance of a lifetime? Who is ever this lucky? Do I even deserve this chance? What if I waste it? What if I never write anything publishable? Did Harper Lee ask herself these same questions?
Was I simply unable to accept the life and responsibilities of a grown up? Did I just quit my job to escape it?
I'll find out, won't I?
PS: Hopefully I don't stumble onto YouTube on my first day as a "writer". Sadly, "Jedi Master" is currently an unattainable position.
Alyce Caswell is an aspiring writer who apparently lost her mind, threw away a steady job as an office junior and entered the realm of imagination.
She has blamed her accomplice and husband for giving her this most excellent opportunity.
Alyce has written articles, poems, short stories, books
and several embarrassing blogs. She hopes this venture will avoid the usage of cat gifs.
Links of Interest
A Rambling Rover
Alyce's travel blog which features various castles, stone circles and bemused musings about the Northern Hemisphere.