The first fix

What a relief to find that there are others like yourself. That although you find yourself trapped in your cave of literary solitude, you are by no means alone.

That’s how I felt when I read an introduction by Isabel Allende, on the subject of being an international author.

Of course, many dream of being able to publish a book (preferably a best-selling autobiography describing the rungs which made up the ladder to their success) but somehow I’ve never seen my passion for writing as a tool to which could aid me to achieve that. Personally, writing has become a drug. Rather than an ambition, it’s a necessity. I don’t know if it’s my way of grasping the intangible or of simply letting off steam, but it’s become an addiction which seems to have little – if any – remedy.

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Therefore one can imagine the pain of attending a university where no one reads, let alone writes, even if it be writing an essay. The hospitality industry is many things: it’s active, it’s demanding and it’s ever-changing. But what it isn’t is academic. Undoubtedly, there are many papers and essays published to support the counter argument, but to reach those levels of academia, one must first succeed in the industry for a certain number of years. I’m an impatient person. I need that fix. Why should I wait so long to finally shape my thoughts into words when so many other industries offer that opportunity from day 1?

Most people tell me literature is a passion for those who don’t want to eat. Salary and employment levels are low, and the most likely outcome is that I will end up waiting tables, catapulting me back to F&B.  But even if money is tight, and spending is limited, there is something romantically appealing about navigating this world with nothing but a pen and paper. I chuckle now as I can already hear my future self cursing me now as I peel myself away from an industry which assured me the security of a job with income.  To hell with it, I say, life’s too long to spend it doing the wrong thing.  And no, I didn’t get the saying wrong.

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