I have always wanted to be a writer. Ask anyone in my family what I wanted to be when I grew up, and that is what they will tell you. A writer or, in my tamer moments, perhaps a fireman. As the years went by and I developed a healthy sense of adolescent cynicism, the dream may have faded a little, shoved aside by bullying pragmatism about what the Real World expects and will actually allow one to make a living from. I may even have forgotten it completely, for a while. In school, I focused my efforts relentlessly on what I was good at, not really stopping much to consider where it would take me.
And so it was that, some time later, I graduated with a degree in German Studies and took myself to Berlin to become a translator. A fine city and a fine career, one which, after realising the restrictions of the 9 to 5 weren’t for me, I decided two years ago to continue on a freelance basis. Since then, I have gradually built up my business and reputation to a point where they toddle along nicely with little to no maintenance on my part (save for the actual work itself).
This has left me with a little more free time on my hands than I have enjoyed for while. My first reaction to this situation was to pack my knapsack and run off to South America for six weeks toward the tail end of last year (a highly rewarding experience, more of which at a later date). This journey, in turn, gave me plenty of opportunity to think about my life: at 26, now inarguably what the Real World sees as an adult, was I happy with what I had done? What would I still like to do? Were there any as-yet unattained life goals I could set myself in order to shape the next few years?
Naturally, my thoughts eventually returned to the little boy who wanted to write; the boy who would while away half-term holdiays in his Grandmother’s armchair, lost in the fantasy worlds of tomes found in the school library. The boy who idolised Roald Dahl, and would tell anyone who listened that he was going to be a writer when he grew up.
In a sense, of course, I already am a writer. I spend my days reading words written in a foreign tongue and regurgitating them in the one with which I was born. I love my job, and my life here in Berlin. But it isn’t quite what that little boy had in mind. He wanted to write his own words, express his own thoughts, create his own worlds.
So here I am. Writing. To anyone who will read my words. From now on, this blog will serve as a base for my musings on language, travel, culture and all that lies between (and beyond). It is intended not as the sole outlet for my creative side, but rather as a hub from which I hope to be able to branch out, should others decide they wish to publish my work. Please enjoy it and offer feedback wherever you can; this is a learning curve for me and I want to learn.
Thank you, and welcome to my world.
Ian (on behalf of himself, aged six)