There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. – J.K. Rowling
I love this quote by J.K. Rowling, taken from her commencement speech at Harvard’s graduation in 2008. This quote came to mind as I was speaking to a new friend, a fellow writer who told me about his time at a top grammar school in Sydney, and of a teacher-mentor who spotted his talent and encouraged him to write, even to this day.
I started thinking about how I was never encouraged, motivated or presented with opportunities to write at a young age. My ambition to be an author at the age nine was dismissed by my mother, and at one point in my teenage life I even asked to be sent to a grammar school in Australia following in the footsteps of a much-admired cousin, but that of course, did not happen.
I have many regrets with regards to writing, like not being part of the Editorial Board in high school or taking a more active role with the university paper. But we all know that regret is unprofessional, and as much as I don’t like this over-used phrase, it’s never too late to achieve your dreams.
No matter the circumstances of childhood, we are now responsible for growing, cultivating and investing in our talent.