Updated: Jan 5, 2022
I was thirteen years old, and I had an idea.
I was full of ideas growing up: posting flyers in our village shop warning drivers of the dangers of hit and run accidents involving dogs or cats, or setting up a veg delivery service by selling home grown lettuce and beans to my neighbours, or the idea of finding the technology to turn my tiny digital alarm clock into a portable TV.
But this idea was different, it was gutsy and required a level of confidence only a young girl, with youthful naivety and a head full of big dreams, could have. I was going to be a writer, and not just a writer of stories in my English books at school, or the notebooks I collected at home. No, I was going to be a writer for an actual newspaper, and not when I grew up either, no, right then and there, aged thirteen!
One day after school I walked down Commercial Street in Aberdare and into the local office of our town's newspaper - The Aberdare Leader. Without any hesitation or idea of how this would work, I asked to speak to the Editor and said I would like to write a column for the paper. Surprisingly, I was ushered into a dark office upstairs and met by the Editor, she asked me a few questions and said it sounded like a good idea, but they wouldn't be able to pay me as I was too young. In the next few moments the paper's photographer arrived and I was asked to pose by the desk, in front of an old word processing machine, as if I was an actual journalist! And so began my career at The Aberdare Leader, writing a fortnightly column titled Sarah's Snippets.
Fast forward nearly thirty years, and I am here today, writing a weekly blog post. However, the journey from my teenage years to now has not been a straight forward line of writing and English studies, followed by a degree in Journalism or Media or even English - I didn't even take English at A Level! I did not start out at my local newspaper and then climb the ladder to eventually become an editor or run my own publishing company - no, I became an artist and educator, studying and then teaching Illustration and turning my attention to the visual arts.
So, how did I come full circle on this adventure?
Well the answer is simple, I never stopped writing. Through all my studies, degrees, life experiences and positions in education, I always wrote. My journals, notebooks and sketchbooks were full of writing, I poured over essays in art history and now teach theory and writing to my Illustration students. I wrote poems whilst working at part time jobs, I journaled everyday as a form of therapy and loved to write applications, personal statements and form filling of any nature (strange, I know!). Writing has been a golden thread throughout my whole life.
But the real key to why I am writing this blog and pressing publish on these posts each week is the deep desire to follow through on my dream of being a writer, and tapping into my teenage confidence, where I believe anything is possible, as long as you are willing to walk through the door and have the guts to go after what you really want.
I have realised that my dreams do not have to bring me fame or fortune in order to be worthy, they are worthy simply because they are mine and I act on them. Following through on my love of writing, seeing the journey it has taken me on and knowing that today I am living out my dream through this blog is something I treasure. So, I ask you, my readers, what has been your golden thread, the constant theme through your life? It may have taken many forms and guises over the years, and the answer may surprise you.How can you take up that thread in a way that brings your dream to life, no matter how big or small? I'd love to know in the comments below or on Instagram @iamsarahalexcarter
Here's to being teenage dreamers, with big ideas and hearts to follow after them!