When I was little, I loved a series of books about a boy called Jack who owned a dog called Zero. Jack and Zero were the only members of their family who didn’t have multiple talents, or as Jack’s mother called them ‘strings to your bow’. The rest of Jack’s family was frankly insufferable, with their constant boasting and showing off, but the phrase ‘strings to your bow’ has stayed with me.
I used to have a regular job. The kind where you are mostly in the office between the hours of nine and five and get paid once a month for turning up and doing what you are told. I was quite good at it, I enjoyed it on the whole, and it kept me out of trouble.
Then I had children and ‘stopped working’. Please accompany this sentence with a hollow laugh.
Now my children are all at school for a number of hours a day, and I want there to be more to my life than mopping floors and sorting washing. I’d like some sort of gainful employment, but I’d also like to do the school run and mop up sick when they’re ill. OK so like is a strong word for the latter, but you know what I mean.
So I’ve started writing for other people. I’ve been doing it for a while, a little bit here and there. Now I’m not sunning myself on a far-flung beach, I’m trying to do a bit more. But I’ve been thinking. The writing thing is likely to be rather feast and famine, so I need other things to keep me busy in the quiet times. I need more strings to my bow. So I thought about things I’m good at that could possibly be turned into a career of sorts. I’ve started by signing up for a jewellery course. I used to be quite good at silversmithing, but haven’t done it for ten years, the course will hopefully de-rust me and lead to something.
So that’s two strings, jewellery and writing, three if you count my mastery of Twitter. But in this modern world I think it would be useful to have a couple more. I’m pretty whizzy at sudoku and pub quizzes. Any suggestions for where they could take me?