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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guest Post - Pandora Poikilos

A reader or writer – which would you rather be?
By Pandora Poikilos -

I had two passions in my life when I was growing up, reading and writing. As a child, I looked forward to the little hardcover Labybird books that I would be given as presents. Food would finish and clothes I would outgrow but books ... now those were gifts that would last a lifetime.

I learnt about mystery from Nancy Drew, laughter from Adrian Mole, life's complexities from Pip and family life from the March sisters. I would explore more authors later on and in my teen years I would learn to explore my gift to myself, writing. In an era when computers were not a household necessity, I would scribble my thoughts on paper, send them via snail mail and look forward to when I could see my name appear in the local newspapers. Numerous articles later, I was convinced that writing was my talent and went on to get a degree in communications and an internship with an international news agency.

But I was tested and I failed, miserably. I was diagnosed with IIH (Intracranial Hypertension) about four days after I received news about the internship. I convinced myself that if I couldn't write the way I wanted then I wasn't a writer. I gave up on writing and I explored all other options I could think of. I was pushed and shoved into situations I was not comfortable with, let alone happy and kept going one disastrous attempt after another. I needed to find my calling.

Years later and so much more broken than when I started out, I put pen to paper again. This time, I surprised myself. Since then, I've been tested numerous times. Brain surgery, a lump on my back and eyes that cannot stand the glare from a computer screen but I'm not giving up. Not this time.

One particular incident when things got exceedingly difficult stands out. For a short while, my eyesight was so bad I couldn't type the chapters I had handwritten, I felt downright miserable.

Cue the arrival of my knight in shining armour. No, Peas didn't show up on a white horse to take me to a majestic castle, he offered me far more than that. Everyday, he would come home from work, he listened and typed as I read out my work.

We had so much fun, the hours together have even led to the 'birth' of Bruno McGrath but more on that in time to come. For now, I believe that you cannot be a writer if you are not a reader. But having done both I would rather be a writer. To me, it is my breath. Love and light.