My earliest attempts at writing
From a very early age I wanted to be a writer. When I was about age 8 I was given a toy typewriter, probably the same as the one pictured above. This was one available in 1955, about when I was 8 years old. It wasn’t a true typewriter because it had a false keyboard. The letters were formed by turning the central dial to the required letter and then pressing the lever which then left an impression of the letter on the paper. It was a tedious process and operated in a similar way to early dial operated labelling machines (eg Dymo).
Before receiving this wonderful boost to my writing career I would fill scraps of paper, old school exercise books, leftover brown wrapping paper and leftover pads with my writing. With my new “typewriter” came the need for typing paper and replacement ribbons. I graduated into writing stories, jokes and articles using my new toy, leaving spaces for hand drawn illustrations.
It wasn’t long before I discovered carbon paper in my father’s writing bureau, so multiple copies of my class newsletter were now possible. I soon had classmates paying for the privilege of subscribing to my periodical. My career was off and running.
Until Dad found out.
It seems that the father of a classmate complained that, in his opinion, my entrepreneurial endeavours were somehow illegal. Reluctantly I had to pay back the money, and my writing career came to a grinding halt. For next 40 years I dedicated myself to my second choice, teaching. Now in retirement I can finally pursue that early dream, one that was almost snuffed out by an obnoxious and totally meddlesome person.
I sometimes wonder what might have been.
Don’t let anyone steal your dream.