Saturday, 21 September 2013


 I want a lot. What I mean by that is two thing: I want a lot of things, and I also want a great deal--I feel the physical sensation of want day in, day out.

I don't want things so much as...places, people, experiences. I mean, yes I want material things: the Charlotte Olympia pumps with the gold deco heel, and a holiday to one of those fancy places with a bar in the pool, and diamond earrings. But those are things that maybe I'll have one day and maybe I won't. They're money things, stuff I can live without even if I do dream of them.

Mostly, I yearn. I yearn for somewhere more exciting to go, new people to meet, things to happen. I daydream about living in a big city and writing all day, going out to dinner at night and walking home in my heels to my tiny apartment. About boys with green eyes who draw or cook or dance. I fall asleep to stories I want to write and worlds I want to create.

I think we all are like this. It starts when we're young and it never stops. I think that's what I love about YA fiction, why I write it: there's just so much want bursting from the pages. First loves or independence or a sense of something great out there, waiting. When you're a kid you hold onto the thought of a future where things are going to better. It's like this: you're fourteen and you hate school or your parents, but when you're sixteen it'll all be different, you think.

You're sixteen and you still hate your parents and now also that boy who you liked until he called your best friend ugly. When you're eighteen, though, things will be better: you'll be an adult then, living on your own maybe, going out to cocktail bars and emulating Carrie Bradshaw but swearing that you're not.

Then you're twenty-six and Jesus, you can't keep your bedroom tidy for love nor money, you're still not quite sure how to iron your clothes and all those things you thought you would have under control by now are still running wild around you. But nobody tells you that there's no magic number at which life kicks in. You go through it all thinking "Just a few more years, a few more years," over and over. I don't know, but I'm going to guess that all this yearning never goes away. Maybe for some people, but for others, no. For me, I don't think it will ever leave.

The thing that you want might change: when you have kids and a career, you could want that fancy holiday or fun city life. Maybe you're fifty and living in a paradise with the love of your life, running around to art galleries and restaurant openings, but you dream of a cottage in the country and a quiet routine. Whatever it is, I think it stays with you.

YA is full of yearning and so am I. Always will be. And even now when that yearning is almost more than I can bear, I'm grateful for it. Because at least I know there are things I want out there and maybe, one day, I'll find them.


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