I was an avid reader from a young age, gobbling up works by Jackie French, Enid Blyton, John Marsden and Bryce Courtney like peanut m&ms.
While I read from most genres, I really loved relatable adventures. Descriptive scenes I could picture myself in got my imagination whirling and books based on farms or in the Australian bush were my favourites. Once the stories ended I’d daydream for hours about how I’d react in the situations the characters found themselves in and imagined myself interacting with those characters. Books made anything possible!
Movies were great and all, but a book? Well that gave you imaginative control, the author may have guided your internal imagery by stating a characters hair or eye colour but it was you the reader that had final say in what they looked like. Movies took that magic away from you, not to mention they altered stories- destroying The Power Of One for example!
Nowadays, I love to write as much, if not more, than I love to read. Despite my love of reading, I hated writing as a child; journaling used to send me into a right tizz. I think I got too nervous about what was expected from me and just ended up with short sentences such as: “I went to the park. It was good.”
This was before I discovered it was okay to be imaginative and explain my experience of how I saw the park, that I could focus on the journey of travelling to the park, the sights, smells, feelings of anticipation as you tried to swing all the way around the swing set and even the disappointment of having to go back home again.
I only realised that I enjoyed playing with descriptive text so much as an adult and while most of the words you read on my blog bear witness to the secret thoughts that have spilled from my overcrowded mind in a torrential downpour of snot and sorrow, I quite enjoy writing children’s picture books too!
Something about the challenge of searching for a way to gently instill morality into a child’s mind by guiding them through a path of adventure and triumph over adversity and doing it as succinctly as possible gets me all tingly. Perhaps that’s why as someone who talks (and writes) incessantly, I prefer Twitter over other social media platforms – I need boundaries and the character limit is a brilliant challenge.
As much as I love to write, I can’t write on command, well I can but I find it very difficult, I start to over think, over criticise and don’t produce the same quality of work.
My best writing happens out of the blue and often in the middle of the night. Something random suddenly triggers me, sometimes it even happens while I’m driving, I will get the overpowering ‘urge’ and I have to pull over and immediately write in the notes section of my phone, sentences pour out as though I am being possessed by a spirit. These stories may be mine but in reality I’m just a vehicle for the words that seem to come through me from some sort of external force.
Because my writing guides me, I don’t guide my writing, as much as I love it, I doubt that I could ever be a successful author or journalist, I couldn’t imagine having to meet deadlines and conform with set structures. This is why I love to quietly blog, write little personalised picture books for my nephew and nieces, express myself through poetry and lyrics.
For me, writing is my art, it is a beautiful and powerful release, writing my memoir was the most therapeutic thing I had ever done, it is where I found the key to beginning to understand my authentic self and expressing my emotional ups and downs through my blog is where I discovered an amazing, like minded community to share with.
Are you passionate about writing too? How do you express your authentic self?