Last night I changed channels on the television and caught an old interview with Billy Connelly. Perfect late night viewing from someone who, I once read, said that he still expected to wake up one morning to find that he himself at his welder’s bench in a Glasgow shipyard. Yet he made it, big time.
In the interview he was asked what advice he’d give to his children, to which he replied that that he heard of a Buddhist saying along the lines, “Find what you should be doing in life and do it!” Please note the word “should”. It was particularly pertinent for your good self because, approaching retirement age, that’s exactly what I did when I started writing my first book; something that I’d wanted to do for more years than I care to remember. That was nearly 15 years ago since when, I’ve written five with one more just about finished and two others in hand. Crucially, for me, the last of these is a novel, the invention of my imagination, that I’d always wanted to write.
Not only that but I am good at it, so much so that the books write themselves with me merely the conductor of the orchestra. The appropriate words appear on the screen in the right order as do the chapters of each book. In fact, there are times when I read something that I’ve written and think, “Where the hell did that come from?”
Now that ability to use language to paint pictures is something that I never imagined that I’d have and that makes it even more pleasurable. However, those books could probably not have been written without me leading the life that I’ve led; one in which I’ve done a number of things that I’ve enjoyed. In fact, that journey, from a more proscribed life to one in which I was able to determine a future more of my own choosing, started 30 years previously. It just took a long while to mature, so that I am, at last, doing what “I should have been doing in life”. Thanks, Big Yin, and hope that your kids are doing the same.