Born to it.

I’m reading Michael Frayn on his theatre work at the moment and he establishes early that he had an obsession with the theatre from a very young age. He wrote plays, made the sets, the puppets and forced it all up on his doubtless long-suffering family. He doesn’t mention getting any particular encouragement. I wonder if his relatives ever looked back on those incipient moments of the writer emerging with surprise that it turned out so well in the end.

I noticed earlier today that another of these youngsters with the courage of their obsessions was Mabel Esther Allan.

Mabel announced to her family at the age of eight that she planned to be a writer. They took this seriously and when the family moved a few years later Mabel was given a spare room to use as a study. Her father bought a large office desk which she was to use for the rest of her life, and presented her with a typewriter upon which she taught herself to type.

She went on to write almost 200 books and hundreds of short stories.

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