So, as some of you might have read, I started a petition on Change.org this week.
Since it hasn’t yet attracted any signatures, I thought I would draw attention to it again.
In case there’s any confusion, yes I started the petition using my real name, instead of my pseudonym. One of the shortcomings of Change.org is that Facebook is the only social network they offer as an option for signing in.
For the past five years, my goal has been to write books.
I have yet to finish my first book, and that is not for lack of trying. Rather, it is because of a lack of support for my particular goal.
I want to be someone that my family and the town of Dunfermline will be proud of. Simply put, an author who writes fantastic stories to entertain and inspire others.
In hindsight, I could have already begun to achieve this if I weren’t continually pigeonholed by the Jobcentre as an admin/computer person. I would be much further along if my time hadn’t been wasted on two years of Work Programme and a year of New Deal placements.
That’s not to say that I haven’t met some wonderful people along the way, and I hope some of them will read this and realise just how far I have come. However, I think that my time could have been better spent going to workshops for writers, assuming that I could afford them.
Last year I began treatment for depression, brought on by the cumulative stress of being pushed in a direction that I was never supposed to go. This too, could have been avoided.
If my treatment for depression is successful, I can expect to return to the Jobcentre and experience more of their infamous brand of support while I try to achieve my goals on my own time.
I know that I can’t be the only one in this predicament, endlessly competing for jobs that are not what we are looking for, going round and round in the demented centrifugal extractor which never stops.
We owe it to Scotland and its rich cultural heritage to really think about what we are doing to nurture creative talent to follow in the footsteps of, for example, Iain Banks. Can we do more?
Looking back at the past five years, I wish that there had been more opportunities for me to flourish. I wish that it hadn’t taken five years to realise that I need to petition this sort of thing. For it is only when many voices speak as one that truly great changes are accomplished.
Be honest and tell me what you think. Or if you’re convinced, head over to the petition page and be my first signatories! That would be awesome.