I wrote something on the Cwill website today, but thought it belonged here too. When I was very young I had one - only one - teacher who encouraged my writing. Her name was Miss Rafferty, and I hope she had a great life. She might still be around. That would be nice.
Miss Rafferty praised my eleven year old efforts to write poetry, and read out to the class a fairy tale I'd written for an assignment. Anyway, on the strength of this I told my mother that I was going to be a poet when I grew up. She turned very pale and broke the news that poets don't make much of a living. She wanted me to become a nurse.
I would have made a terrible nurse.
Thousands of people are alive today because I didn't become a nurse.
What my mother didn't tell me was that you can actually be a poet, or writer of fairy tales, or painter, or sculptor, and have a day job to pay the rent. I figured that out for myself, so I have a day job and I write stories. If your mother wants you to be a brain surgeon or a lawyer or a fisherman, make sure you want to be those things. Of course, there are stories in all those jobs.
Though here's a tip. If you happen to be in the middle of operating on someone's brain, and you get a sudden inspiration, don't break off what you are doing to write it down. Wait until the patient is all sewn up again.