You know, I was always jealous of serious football fans; to the outside world, their love for the game looked merely like a crazed obsession, but up-close you could see it was so much more than that. They’d lose the ability to talk when a match was on. They’d hug complete strangers over a goal. They’d sulk for hours (if not days) when a big game didn’t go their way. And all of that feeling, you could tell, would last their life time.
I wished I felt that much for anything. And then I realised I do, and always have, for writing.
It started with Spike Milligan. I loved his books and illustrations as a child; once a rhythm was in my head, I realised I had the ability to quickly memorise verses verbatim (this would serve me well in exams later on). I’d go to my room for ten minutes and come back with two pages of nonsense poetry, but poetry none the less.
From there I advanced into the competitive market of TOP SECRET pre-teen journals, all of which I still have to remind myself how cool I never was. Soon enough, I was underlining words in books I didn’t know, then intentionally buying books with words I wouldn’t understand. I started keeping a notepad on my bedside table, for the nights that I needed to make sense of the world before I could fall asleep. And over, and over, and over again, I’d replay the lines from great songs, and awful rom-coms, because something about them stuck with me.
It made sense that I later decided to train in writing, and at the heart of it is this: I’ve always been fascinated by people, and the things that connect us.
The little things… like debating optimum tea-brewing time, privately congratulating whoever made ‘brunch’ a thing, dying to snootily correct people who misuse “literally”, and realising a decade later that you do still remember the whole of the Ning, Nang, Nong.
And then, of course, the big things… like love, and hope, and balance, and contentment, and yes, even football, because especially when we think we don’t “speak each other’s language”, it’s important to try to find the right words – to communicate, to relate.
As for right now? I continue to write interviews and features as a freelance journalist, published in national magazines as well as in local press. I also freelance as a copywriter and editor across print and digital, and I keep my hand in, 9-5, writing digital and social media copy, as well as search optimised descriptions for YouTube.