Day Ten of My 500 Words

My 500 Words - Day 10: Write About Writing

Today's #My500Words challenge is to write about writing. Share your passion about writing. The pain, the pleasure, the anguish. I think I might have gone off at a bit of a tangent. I haven't written for years and so I found myself explaining briefly, with a little meandering, about where my love of writing came from.

I am adding the usual disclaimer that the point of these daily challenges is to write freely and to flow creatively without self censure, without pausing to check grammar, spelling or punctuation. So there may be horrific examples of both.

Why I Loved Writing

Until this year, I hadn't written creatively for years. I have always loved writing. I just haven't always seen the value in it. It's just one of those things that felt as if it came so naturally, that I couldn't see how lucky I was. As a child I wrote obsessively. If I saw a movie I liked, I would write stories based on the characters or the ideas that had fascinated me. If I watched a factual programme on TV that interested me, I would take out books on that subject and write down the main concepts and copy images by drawing them. 
I was always reading. I loved comic books. As a family, we would go on one of our regular visits up to Cromer on the north Norfolk coast at weekends. Whilst grownups seemed focused on getting chips on the seafront and walking along the beach, the only thing that interested me was, that if we went to the cafe at the back of the shop, I might, just might (if I promised not to be a pain in the ass about it) be able to persuade my parents to let me have one of the comic books that were always on display on a revolving stand at the front of the store. 
So I grew up with Marvel, DC, Spooky horror story comics and 2000AD. My mum had tried to get me to read some girly comic called "Twinkle". A repugnant little magazine aimed at smal girls, with cute stories about cute things, about dressing up and being sugar and spice and all things nice. I ****ing hated it with a passion. Well as much as a six or seven year old could. When 2000AD came out, that is all I wanted to read and I was only allowed to have one comic delivered. What a shame, Twinkle had to go.
I didn't have the greatest of childhoods and I really don't like recalling anything much from back then. I think I was lucky to have access to all the books that I did. I am certain that it was my great aunt who helped me become a creative soul. She fed my craving for reading, fuelled my fire for writing. She was always buying me books, for reading, for writing, for drawing. She also had a collection of books at her home. I read her very old copy of the stories of the Arabian Night stories, Little Women, Enid Blyton books, Brontes and Anne Sewell to name just a few that I can remember.

There wasn't any money to do anything as a child so I would retreat to my room. Drawing, reading and writing became my escape. When I wasn't trying to run my own library that is. Seriously! I stuck little library card holders into each of my books, so that my friends could borrow them and know which day to return them. 
I also used to make voice recordings of my favourite stories from my comic books, reading all the different characters onto tape. It was so funny because my favourite was a story called "Meltdown Man" from the 2000AD comic. A story about a man who gets exploded by a nuclear bomb and finds himself thrown to a future earth where all the animals can talk and are kept by humans as slaves. And coincidentally, earlier this year, I was commissioned for my first even voice recording of an audio story for 'Reynard City'. A comic book series based on the world 'Animal Planet' where all the animals talk and are transported to earth along with an evil robot Fox. This bizarre coincidence in the matrix amuses me and reinforces the feeling that I have re-aligned with my creative self.

When I was at middle school, in English classes we worked through a series of bright, colourful, English Work books. Whilst some children were struggling through their work books and asking the teacher for help, I would be patiently waiting for her to get around to me as I was already wanting to ask for the next exercise book, after the next. I found language and grammar came easy too. At High School, I recall my English teacher asking if I intended on becoming a writer. 

Why did I Stop Writing

Chained feet image for My 500 Words day 10I'm not entirely sure why I stopped writing. It didn't happen suddenly, it was a slow slide. When I moved to High School talent and creativity wasn't recognised or nurtured. I was pushed to study things that didn't interest me at all. I remember being forced to do woodwork, metalwork, religious education, bloody netball. It was hellish. I was bored. I was starved of the creativity that had previously fed me. I wasn't one of those kids to be disruptive or kick off in class to amuse myself, I rebelled in my own introvert way.

I disengaged and dropped out and looked for stimulation elsewhere. Then life got in the way. I became a parent myself. I was afflicted by a genetic problem that caused me issue for many years. The writing dwindled. I drew
less and less and then stopped altogether. The creativity was always bubbling underneath though. The refusal to fit in. The refusal to look the same. The refusal to follow the rules or colour inside of the lines. The desire to grab hold of any system I was forced into by the throat and disrupt the hell out of it. 
But doing my Master's brought me back to my writing. It tempted me with the carrot of purpose, but taught me that I didn't need one and sometimes I might find one on the way to somewhere else. That I can be that child again. I can write for the creative sake of it. It's not as easy as it used to be. The teenage me didn't have this overthinking, adult critic in her head, worries about keeping a roof over her head and she certainly didn't give a damn what anyone else thought of her. She would have written four times as much as this already, with her mind writing stories faster than her pen could get them onto the paper. At least that's how the teacher explained my messy scrawly handwriting to my mum at parent's evening.

What I love

I love that my journey, albeit it a hard one, has brought me to this point. I love that I have come so far so quickly. Last year, I hadn't written anything, in years. This year I have written two short scenes, one of which has been performed in a piece of community theatre and I've just submitted an extract of an in-progress stage play for the Literary Consultancy Free Reads Scheme. I have pages of little snippets of pieces of writing since I started keeping notes of ideas, an idea for a Children's story I had during summer, which I haven't gone back to look at as yet, and I would still like to start on a one person show when I think of an idea that thrills me enough to write it. 

What I hate

I don't like how the ideas and creativity come when I am at my most relaxed and unstressed when, at the moment I have no money and am at my most stressed. I need freedom to explore ideas and play. I think I need to give myself permission to take a break. Just a day where I just go for a very long walk with my notebook and do nothing but let my mind wander. Ideas never come to me when I'm stuck at at my desk. It was on relaxed walks from uni, when it didn't matter what time I got home and I had nothing to rush home for, when the most and best ideas would come to me. I need the freedom to let the creativity flow.
Word count = 1379


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