The trials and tribulations of a young writer

As a child I was always captivated by stories. Words can convey a deep magic that transports us to fascinating places and settings in time. So naturally once I was old enough to figure out the complex task of using a pen, along with all the accompanying aspects of writing such as spelling, grammar and of course handwriting, I began to compose my own stories. Time passed on and I found my passion for writing constantly growing. And now as a 19 year old student I find myself in a multimedia course with little to show for my passion for writing but a few online published film reviews, a neglected blog and a personal writing journal filled with incomplete stories and compositions. My literary drought however,is not caused by a severe case of writers block; although I’m sure it is partially responsible. No my lack of substantial advancement in writing is down to a variety of cultural factors.

Firstly it is hard to work towards any goal without motivation. Sure passion can be the right motivation in most cases. But with Irish society, and other societies I’m sure, most doors are locked unless you know who holds the keys. The career of a writer, be it a journalist or a novelist, is one that is closed off to most people in society. That is unless personal contacts are used to get a foot in the door. When I express the fact to friends and family that I would like to pursue a career in writing I am often asked why I did not opt to study English in college. The answer is that unfortunately an English degree would not provide stability for my later life. The sad fact of modern culture and society is that we must work to live rather than live to work. I know this is an old cliché but it is fairly apt in this case. The fact of the matter is that the majority of people choose a career on financial aspects rather than reasons of interest and passion for a certain subject.

The internet also does well to impede my aspirations. The internet has opened up extensive new avenues for writers to showcase their work. Any writer can display their work to a global audience. This would not have been the case in the past before the advent of the internet and thus it would have been a far greater struggle for writers to get their work ‘out-there’ in the public eye. This may have impeded authors but it also ensured that quality prevailed, in most cases anyway. Nowadays everyone can post their work online which has flooded the market and made it virtually impossible for budding authors to bloom. As I am more of an idealist rather than a pure author I feel I can overcome the almost over crowded market where everyone is a critic by applying narratives I have created to other mediums such as film and animation. This would allow me to continue to express myself in the visual domain. As for the future of writing it is hard to determine what will happen. I am almost certain that great writers and authors will continue emerge throughout the years as they have done so in the past. But unless proper structures are put in place in schools and universities to nourish and develop creative writing skills then there may well be a future decline in the area of writing.


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