I never understood this saying when I was a kid. I know now, people said it to encourage me to use different words, expand my vocabulary, get me to be more creative in my writing.
When I was a kid I was ashamed I liked to write. I was embarrassed to read a book. I felt bullied when I did.
I don’t remember the point in time that this changed. I just remember the two extremes.
The first memory I have of writing was when I was at primary school. For homework, we had to write our own story. Mine was about a princess – this I only know this because I drew a picture of her, and still remember that picture today. We had to write it at home. My brother, who isn’t much older than me, picked up on the fact that I was writing and used to wind me up about how I loved to write and make up my own stories. At the time, I thought this was horrible. We used to argue over it. But now, looking back, it all seems so silly.
I was ashamed to write because I knew it was ‘sad‘ or ‘childish‘ or ‘weird‘.
I even convinced myself I hated writing, just did it because I had to.
At the end of primary school, when I was in year six, I wrote a book about a plane crash. Sounds far-fetched I know, I must have been about ten, but I wrote it. At the time I was so proud of myself. I gave up lunch and break times to type up this book, gather evidence, go through boxes of the remains, all because I loved to research into it. I became a detective.
After writing the book, it got put into the school library – would be nice to know if it was still there or not? Again, people thought I was weird for writing, so yet again, I gave up my love for it.
Secondary school came and went, and I still hadn’t even thought about writing again, let alone try it.
Then college came along. I still never wrote, and when I say never, I mean never.
Why I chose to do a degree in Journalism I will never know. Yes I loved, or still do love, the media, but I had, at the time, no passion for writing.
My head used to fill with dread when someone told me I had to write something, whether a poem, a story, a review – I dreaded it.
Once at university, I was made to set up a blog. The evidence of this you are reading now. When I was first introduced to the idea of a blog I was amazed at how people found things to talk about, how people actually spent time reading others’ words.
After my first blog post, I was set and raring to go. Since creating my blog I’ve loved being able to write. Whether people read my posts or not, whether it has an effect on their lives or not, whether they like what I write or not, I still love to write.
It’s taken me at least a good ten years to decide that I love to write. I have overcome my fear of standing out against the norm, stopped following the herds and done what I wanted to do.
I had a phone call from my dad earlier. He told me how my family were in tears yesterday reading some of my posts. At first I was confused, how could they be sad over what I had written? I didn’t understand what they meant. I still don’t now. But what I do know is that this touched me more than I thought it would. Knowing that my words have had that effect on someone, whether related or not, my words have touched someones feelings, they’ve brought up memories, emotions, realisation from deep inside someone. Knowing that I have done this, truly makes me love words.
I’m not one to used big words because quite frankly I don’t know any. I’m not one to pretend to be someone I’m not, I am who I am. I just love to please. Everything I do in life, I do for others. I put anyone and everyone before myself and will go out of my way to help them. Writing is the one thing I do for myself. It’s the one place I can be myself, express my views, and get my feelings across – put myself first. It’s so great to know that without even trying, I’m helping others.
Whether you have a love for words, films, music, science, sport, geography, art, buildings, whatever your love, stick at it. Don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re wrong. You can’t help what you fall in love with. What you love, makes you who you are. Be who you want to be, and do what you want to do, otherwise, one day, just one day, you might just regret it.
Make the most of your dreams, ambitions, loves, let them take you wherever they take you. Don’t let anyone, anything, any amount of money get in your way of fighting for them. They’re worth the fight and always will be.