How many of us, when young, know for sure what they want to be when they grow up? By which I mean, how many of those youthful - and often changing - notions turn out to have been right in hindsight? I suspect few.
In contrast, looking back, how many seeds of what you do now can be seen? Is there a sense of "You know what, it feels logical to have ended up here"? I don't mean subjects you studied at school, but the other stuff.
English O Level was a chore. I always left the essays until Sunday night. And yet 8 years earlier I had created The Sunninghill Times, a photocopied 'newspaper' that I sold around the village for 2p. I wrote the whole thing, including going to watch the local footy match and writing a report for the back page.
Maybe there were resonances of that when I started an office rag in about 1995. Again, A4 photocopied (on company equipment, on company time!) and generally a load of made up nonsense based on office gossip and social events. Plus a liberal sprinkling of jokes stolen from this new thing called the Internet. But the budding entrepreneur in me had obviously died as I didn't even charge 2p, I gave the thing away.
By then I'd moved onto a bigger canvas anyway, when I started my first novel in 1991. Essentially what I had done that year was turn myself from a diehard scientist into a creative. How else to explain turning my attention away from revising for Astrophysics finals to write an American detective novel?
At work, through 3 changes of direction, a common theme was creating solutions to problems. I continued to write on and off, turning from books to screenplays and a couple of pantos
. This represents a more visual way of conveying ideas, and I do think very visually.
I've looked back and seen that as a creative video producer, the marriage of solving business problems - how to market effectively - and storytelling is a natural place to be. But I'd forgotten about the very early days of writing both fiction and nonfiction.
With some very quirky videos in the pipeline, and another panto script in the works, it feels more that ever that I'm where I belong.