Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kate Harrison - One Thing I've Learnt

One Thing I’ve Learnt ... is that you never stop learning

hated school. From an early age, I was allergic to authority, royal blue blazers and sub-zero PE lessons.  I couldn’t wait to get out.

Which is why it’s been a surprise to find out I love learning. I don’t mean Physics or Trigonometry. No matter how many A*s you have, certain mysteries remain: the opposite sex, the meaning of life and why anyone laughs at Last of the Summer Wine.

That’s why I became a reader and then a writer: to try to make sense of other people. Putting myself in the shoes of a vengeful colleague, a war-scarred reporter or a bossy Brown Owl has taught me more about people than a psychology textbook.   

Not that I’m against textbooks. I’ve written ten novels now – well over a million published words – but I can’t resist the latest ‘how to’ book. I love to read how other authors write five thousand words before breakfast, or the latest theory that story-telling is buried deep in our DNA.

And then there’s the practical stuff. I’m learning to sew (though girls-only Domestic Science classes instilled a fear of the sewing machine that’s taken two decades to overcome). On my kitchen counter,  there are three noxious-smelling jars of gloop that I still hope might eventually turn into sourdough bread.

My curiosity even drove me to spend an entire week doing military style PT training for my new novel. The Boot Camp. I only remembered how much I hate organised exercise when I was ordered to do twenty push-ups on wet sand. Still, it’s all a learning experience, right?

The best people are those who never stop asking why.  So if you’re also afflicted by an insatiable curiosity, join the after-school club. It’s a lot more fun than Trigonometry.

Kate's next novel is available 2nd August 2012 - The Boot Camp

Five women with one goal: to feel like a million dollars for the first time in their lives. They have nothing to lose but their muffin tops!

1 comment:

Rebecca Leith said...

I'm going to give the link to this to dd. She's stressing about the dreaded A*s. I keep telling her they don't matter, a pass is fine, and if she fails, who cares? She doesn't need a piece of paper to show she's clever, it's self-evident when you speak to her.
And I'm like you, Kate. Hated school, but love learning.