Dear Me (aged 16),
You are bursting with expectation and impatient to start life, I know, but just bear with me for a moment because there’s something I need you to do: don’t stop writing.
When you leave home just before you turn seventeen, you will enter a world where writing doesn’t seem to fit.
Make it fit.
For though this new world will be exciting and liberating, it is one that holds unimaginable lows. And though these times are not permanent, writing – as you will discover much, much later in life – will be your release. It will be your escape hatch.
So when you’re awake and alone in the hospital at 3am and the pain threatens to drown you, write. No, you won’t be able to sit up or even concentrate on words printed on a page, but there will be a cassette walkman and it can record.
Writing is the best drug. It can set you free, it can stop you from falling over the edge.
You’ve always loved to write. You’ve always intended to one day write a book. Don’t wait for the right time.
You can not control anything in life except for the words you write on the page and the worlds you create in your imagination.
When the most important friendship in your life fails, and grief and despair engulf you, write.
When life is hard, write.
When life is good, write.
Write for yourself. Write for the characters in your mind. Set those daydreams free and you will be amazed at the weight they release with them.
Write because it is one of your favourite things in life to do and because it brings you pure joy.
Don’t let your writing feel like a childish past time you need to leave behind.
It is not. It is part of you and always will be.
Don’t ever stop writing.