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Risking Writing


Last summer I spent ten weeks travelling across North America alone. Every day I wrote in my journal, to immortalise the details of each day, the minutiae that I knew would one day otherwise be forgotten. My notebook became the thing I turned to when I was feeling inspired, reflective or lonely. It was cathartic and I came to rely on this small routine whilst surrounded by anything but routine.


I’ve started and stopped blogs in the past and have scrawled thoughts, diary entries and mini essays in various notebooks, mostly in boxes under my bed. I’ve always enjoyed the writing process but feeling blinded by the path carved out by my degree I’ve focused on a career working in museums and galleries. I’ve succeeded in making a dent in this career path, securing work experience and internships, so the thought of admitting that this might not be for me is daunting. Like turning around and starting at the beginning again. Even saying aloud that I might have a different ambition, particularly as specific and personal as writing means making myself vulnerable to a kind of failure I haven’t thought about before. When asked what I want to do – which, as a (fairly) recent graduate is a lot – I shy away from saying that I want to write, as the chance of succeeding feels so small. If my writing isn’t published anywhere this seems to me like a definitive and public failure to achieve my goal. Thinking how foolish my past self was to confidently tell people she wanted to write!


But, over the past year as I’ve given in to this niggling want bubbling away inside me, not writing and not trying, no longer feels like an option. So this year, I want to risk to admit that this is something I want to give a good try, opening myself up to failure (but also success) with the hope and determination that I can pull it off, starting with this. 

TATE GRONOW

 freelance writer