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Posted By Louise Pakeman

Why do you write? Why do any of us do it? Not for money, and hardly for fame as most of us spend our working lives tapping away in front of a  screen in the obscurity of our own special writing niche with no idea what we will get paid, or even if we will be paid, for our efforts. So what is it that keeps us tapping away?

We love it, For some reason it has us by the short and curlies, it is as necessary to us as the air we breathe. This is both our strength and our weakness. It keeps us going when any sane person would cry quits. That is our strength. It is our weakness because loving writing we are even prepared to do it for nothing, or very low financial return for the many hours of hard slog.

I have wanted to write stories since I was seven years old and had a mastery of the English language sufficient to allow me to do so. One of my very first efforts, a harrowing tragedy, was written for my father when I was about seven and a half. I was in my first year at boarding school so was probably unconsciously expressing my own feelings through my chief character who died 'in the heart of a wood' where she had managed to get lost. My seven-year-old self was certainly lost in the dark maze of boarding school life in those first months. No doubt it was very therapeutic for me to write this, and that maybe is another reason why we write, we need to, we have this deep urge to express ourselves on paper through our alter egos, our imaginary characters. Twenty-five years later when my father died my mother found this early masterpiece of mine tucked securely in one of the pigeon-holes of his desk and returned it to me.

From that first story on I wrote for pleasure. More cheerful stories, mainly about the horses that were the passion of my teenage years. Still at boarding school I wrote stories in the time allotted for homework. I went on writing when I left school. Mainly because no one else seemed to see any point in writing if I didn't also sell I sent my stories off to various likely and unlikely magazines. They returned with the reliability of Homing pigeons and my mother urged me to stop, it was, she felt altogether too distressing. I could not make her understand that it was the writing that mattered; selling would be the icing on the cake.




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Louise Pakeman


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