So today's letter, A, is for Adolescence. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't have a terribly impoverished childhood or any one traumatic event that shaped me irrevocably. I didn't lack for anything materially. But I believe the values and opinions we form as children and especially as teenagers shape us for the rest of our lives, and these years also define our attitudes towards others.
Although my adolescence was comfortable, it wasn't particularly happy. I was a constant target of bullies due to various afflictions: big nose, stutter, dandruff, debilitating social awkwardness, yada, yada, yada. (No, this post isn't going to be all about whining!)
I dabbled in writing from an early age and as I attempted more sophistication in my efforts in my later teenage years, post high school, I came to realise that what's on the surface doesn't really count for diddly squat, though the slings and arrows of outrageous bullying make you feel at the time like appearance is everything.
I'm still driven today by a desire to explore what's going on in the psyche of my characters and what makes people tick. That all stems from my adolescent years. I'd like to know what made those bullies tick and maybe I'll write about that some day. And I'm driven to succeed at least partially to prove that I can make something of myself, that I'm not stupid, and I can achieve something truly great. For a long time I felt like the world was against me. When you've been bullied, that feeling never fades completely, though of course I'm a lot more rational about the whole thing now. I relish getting up in the morning, seeing my family and attacking my work, whereas once I cowered under the covers and prayed for the rest of the world to disappear.
So what about you? How have your adolescent years shaped you as a writer?