‘Don’t become a writer. ❤ Dad’

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I’m walking past the shop-fronts; some alive and vibrant with clothes and jewellery and knickknacks, some dissolving into the blur of grimy windows and melancholy. And in that blur, one window jumps out of the dinginess. It has a message.

I can’t see anything inside the store; it’s dark and dusty, and only a few metres of worn floorboards catch the light. Nothing has called this place home in a while.

And stuck to the inside of filthy window is a short note (supposedly) from father to child: HAVE A GREAT DAY AT SCHOOL! AND DON’T BECOME A WRITER. ❤ DAD

This makes me stop, and within seconds I’ve invented his story. There is a man — who knows if he is a father. He’s a tired and rumpled guy who looks ten years older than he is. Lined, unshaven. A little anxious. He has has penned a few unread novels that sit somewhere in these shadows. He tried to hide from writing and make a living from running a takeaway shop. Which was also unsuccessful. Failure haunts him and he’s had enough. Leaves his books and his shop and his warning behind.

His message, sarcastic and pathetic, is meant to be funny. And it is funny. Few would argue that it is probably sound advice to little writer wannabes. A message that perhaps people would have remembered him for.

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