Conversation #1


It never occurred to me to write, even though I spent my childhood writing short stories for my sister and her friends. Even though I started a magazine out of my parents' bedroom in primary school (which folded after one issue; the staff weren't as enthusiastic as their editor-in-chief) and even though I wrote to all my favourite publications like 'Ellegirl' asking what I had to do to work for them one day. 

No. I wanted to be a nutritionist.

I had such low self esteem as a teenager that I didn't even consider writing in any form as a career. As the first person in my family who had the chance to go to university, I didn't want to fuck it up. I wanted to do something sensible at uni that meant I could walk into a sensible job and work for 40 years before collecting my pension. 

But then my Chemistry teacher told my parents I "didn't have a hope in hell" of passing his subject and that sort of shot that idea in the face. 

We were all given an appointment with the career advisor, which was in a room the size of a cupboard in the corner of the library. He asked me: "What's your favourite subject?" and when I said English, he told me: "Study English at uni then." Appointment over. Job done. And here we are.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

Please share in the comments!

Lauren Aitchison