Hi, I’m Michelle. Freelance writer. Mature age university student. Constantly on the verge of an existential crisis. When I’m not spending time with my wonderful family, I love writing about my fascination with literature, poetry and art!
When I was a child, I would drag my little orange desk and chair into the laundry and create my very own office. I would spend hours pretending I was an author, writing miniature books on scraps of paper, full of interesting facts and puzzles to share with my brothers. My primary school teacher once praised my writing in front of the class and said I should be an author when I grew up. I was mortified by the unwanted attention and – out of childish spite, I suppose – declared I would never be a writer.
There was no internet back in those olden days! In my small child’s mind, I imagined that writers only worked in big industrial newspaper printing houses, with noisy machines and inky paper that stained your fingers. I most definitely did not want to do that!
Eventually, I tucked my talent and my dreams away, as you do when you get older, and chose the safe path instead. A steady career in a grey office, in a grey building, in the big city. I did all the things a dutiful woman felt she should do – got married, had a child, worked my way up the corporate ladder. And yet, I was unfulfilled. I was so many things to so many people, and yet I was a complete stranger to myself. I discovered social media and set about creating a new identity online – something that was just for me. I never used my real name – always an alias. Never my real photo – always an avatar. I carefully curated my different identities, agonising over the perfect aesthetic, the perfect logo, the perfect name.
None of them ever felt quite right. I constantly compared myself to others and felt like a failure.
My husband sensed my despair and suggested I return to my university studies, doing something I truly love. I remembered that I loved writing, and that I used to be quite good at it once, in another lifetime. I decided that I would embrace my strengths and complete my professional writing degree. I believe this degree will open up possibilities in my life that I would have never imagined a few short years ago. It is my dream to attain a PhD, to research authorial identity and produce a major piece of written work that contributes to the ongoing research on the topic.