My earliest desire was to read.
I knew those things called books had magic in them – with lands to explore, adventures to have, knowledge and wisdom to attain – and I couldn't wait to read as many as I could get my hands on.
My eyes were drawn to the squiggles called words, and I lost myself amongst the pages.
I would read anywhere and everywhere. I was never without a book. And yet I was hopeless at writing when I was a child and teenager. I would stare at the blank page and not know what to write.
So it was rather a mid-life epiphany to wake up one morning and say I was going to be an author, but this is what I did when I turned 40.
I didn't start writing fiction or poetry until some years later, but I did write tertiary training manuals. This was excellent training because it helped me work to a book structure and see books in terms of projects, in much the same way I had done as a professional singer in my 20's when I performed in musicals and founded an opera company.
Creativity needs a structure and discipline, and my years as a musician had given me these skills. So I had been preparing myself all along to be a writer, even though I didn't know it at the time.
I've noticed that about writing. Like a good wine, it needs excellent fruit, good containers in which to hold it, a maturation period that is different for each project, and a quiet space for dreams, magic, and alchemy to happen.
Books, where would we be without them?