Me at about 24 years of age
I don't really do the biography thing very often. I don't think I'm an especially interesting guy. I keep wishing I could come up with witty anecdotes like Ken Armstrong but I guess I've either lived a very boring life or – and this is more likely the case – I have a very bad memory.
What I do remember is writing. I remember desks I've written on and the machines I've worked on. I remember the neck pain, the wrist and shoulder pain. I remember getting cramp in my leg so bad that I thought it had been broken somewhere in the past and had only just decided to start to hurt. I remember going out of my way to get fancy typing paper in a wee shop down the harbour. I remember sending my poems to Philip Larkin when I was sixteen and getting a form letter back from his secretary. What I remember is a life that always had writing in it even if it didn't necessarily revolve around writing.
For so many of those years I struggled with identifying myself as a writer, well, a poet, since all I'd written was poetry and all I expected I'd ever write was poetry. I wanted to look in the mirror and see a poet and believe that what I was seeing was a poet but for so long I felt I was playing at it all.
Anyway, I'm not going to tell you all about it here. If you want to find out a bit more then have a look at my guest post on A Book Blogger's Diary entitled, What it means to be a writer. Some of the stuff will be familiar to regular visitors but hopefully not all; I've only got so many wise words of wisdom to pass on I'm afraid. I wrote it just after a couple of people called my poetry 'extraordinary' and I was feeling very conscious of how non-extraordinary I am.