I love writing. I have only recently come to realise quite how much I love it, and quite how grateful I am that writing is my talent.
I used to envy those people who could sing beautifully, or who were musically gifted. If I could sing and play the piano, my party piece would be singing "My Melancholy Blues" by Queen, a beautiful and haunting tune. But I can't sing. Well, not well. My friend, who never says a bad word about anyone and is musically gifted, charitably says I have a good choir voice. In other words, it might sound OK if 100 others were singing along with me to drown me out.
I can't dance either. I did ballet as a child but gave up because I didn't like all the French words and was sure I'd never learn them. Languages, you see, are something else I'm not good at. It took mew 17 years of living in Wales to get any kind of fluency in Welsh.
I have some artistic ability, but I think artistic ability is something that can be learned to a certain extent, and I had learned all I could and gone as far as I could go. I applied to study art at university but wasn't successful.
I'm pretty average at everything else. I have taken 15 exams in total - 10 O'levels (as GCSEs used to be called), 4 A levels and a degree. Never got an A in any of them, just a whole lot of Bs and Cs. The only test I have ever got an A in was my blood test, for which I got A+.
But I can write. You know when you read something in a book and it is just so perfectly and evocatively phrased that you have a real emotional response - fear, or love, or laughter, and then envy wishing you'd written it? I know pride is a bad thing, but reading over chapters of the fantasy novel I'm working on at the moment I am finding parts that I am really happy about. I love that. I love being able to use words to evoke a response, set a scene, create a mood and flesh out a character. I love being able to create worlds, people and adventures with nothing more than a keyboard. I've written more in the last three weeks than I wrote during the whole of 2009, and I'm remembering just what a thrill it is when the ideas, the lines and the scenes come faster than I can type them.
I may not be as talented as many - most - other writers, but I'm still learning my craft, and I know that I will improve with practice. However, I can write better than the average person on the street, and I wouldn't change that talent for any other - not even being able to sing, dance, play the piano and paint wonderful pictures all at the same time.