Sunday, 27 December 2015

Why I love to Write

I've always been a writer, ever since I can remember. Even as a child my room was always littered with countless pieces of paper covered in my untidy scrawl, detailing story ideas or just random chapters I had written. They were never whole stories, they were all just exerts, and it was a running joke in my family that I'd write a thousand stories but never finish any of them. It wasn't that I didn't have enough ideas, I always had ideas, so many that they were constantly spilling out of my brain, dripping down my arm and falling out the nib of an old Biro. I always had paper and pens on me, and as I got older and lost interest in my school classes I was a constant source of annoyance for my teachers as I sat in the back of the class and wrote. I think that must be one of the worst kinds of annoying pupils, because it wasn't like I was being disruptive, although some of the other kids would often want to read whatever I was writing at the time, but because until they come closer they think that I have spent all lesson taking notes.
When I hit teenage my writing took a strange turn. I believed I was a troubled teen and began to wear black and listen to rock music. I loved the poetry of some of the songs I listened to, they were deep and meaningful and sometimes beautiful (of course some of them were complete rubbish as well!). During this period of 'depression' I experimented with writing poetry - something I had never tried before. Safe to say that some of what I came up with was OK, but most of it was mediocre at best so I went back to writing stories. It was around about this time that I decided I wanted to write a novel, a big, thick, chunky one. So I started writing one, handwritten on lined paper I'd stolen from the supply cupboard at school, I carried it everywhere, adding to it in my classes and at home after school. Then I got bored of it, I left it at home and decided I didn't like my characters any more. A few months later I started another one and took it everywhere until I got bored of it and decided I no longer liked my characters. Repeat to fade.
When I left school and started college I decided writing was a childish hobby and there were better things I could do with my time. I no longer carried pens and paper with me. I studied performing arts at college and dreamed of singing on the west end. The course was terrible, I dropped out four months before the end, somehow still managing to walk away with a qualification. I spent that summer 'hanging out' and going to parties. At the end of the summer I met a man and we quickly moved into a flat together in a neighbouring town. I signed up for some A levels at the local college, he signed up for job seekers allowance.
Safe to say it was not a healthy relationship and only lasted a year before I had to move back to my parents house. During this time one of the courses I took at college was Art, I was convinced that if I could be an artist I'd be a success, but somehow I could never paint scenes as beautifully as I could write them. I only went to four hours of my ten hour art exam and I failed the course.
The next year I went back to college to do my A2's in law and sociology, two of the subjects I had taken as A levels the year before, I was convinced I would go to university to study law and eventually become a barrister. Halfway through the year I dropped out of college. I was good at law but it lacked a creative element, something I needed in order to stay interested.
After that I found myself sitting at my kitchen table in front of my laptop, in my head was a string of words and I had to let them out. My fingers tapped away at the keyboard and I used the words to paint a picture. Soon I had the first chapter of my novel.
That was nearly two years ago now, since then I've worked in retail and I've worked with children, but I keep coming back to my novel and bit by bit it's growing into something exciting. Sometimes I go for months without looking at it but then I get that desire, that undeniable impulse to play with words, arranging them like mosaic tiles or fitting them together like jigsaw pieces until suddenly I've created something that sounds beautiful. A piece of writing you could lose yourself in.
Over the past eight months I've really rediscovered my passion for writing, and the more I let myself write the more I find I want to write. Even just short pieces of descriptive writing with no particular meaning and no place in a story. I write for the joy of it. And when I'm lost in my writing it's as if I'm no longer writing but reading, discovering a story no one else has ever heard before.
Now I'm working on a series of short stories, dark fairy tales, I've started this blog, I'm still adding to my novel and I've started to enter competitions. For the first time in many years a huge portion of my life is devoted to my passion and it feels really good. I don't need to look elsewhere to find what it is I should be doing, this is it, and even if I never make a penny from it it will still be worth it, because it is the best feeling in the world.

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