Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Did I undertake a creative writing course? - Asked Kezzie. No, I haven't is the answer. However, I do feel like my writing is different to how I initially started, back in 2011.
Writing is something very personal, isn't it. Using your voice to explain and describe things but in a way which lasts for ever. Writing something down crystallises it in time. The spoken word is more a fleeting conveyance, often misquoted afterwards or reinterpreted. I like how re-reading passages is reassuringly familiar and always stays the same. It's one of the many reasons I love letter writing.

As a child I was a classic bookworm; spending hours in the evenings with my nose pressed into the novel of choice. Enid Blyton was my favourite author for many years, although that's down to my grandparents buying me books at the car boot, rather than me scanning bookshelves. Maybe I've read everything she ever wrote, but I never kept a tally. I was introduced to Roald Dahl sometime at Primary School but they never filled me with the same satisfaction. By middle school we were pushed into picking up books by different authors and of all genres so my tastes expanded too. I remember taking part in reading challenges and smashing the competition with sheer volume; I could read at lightening speed and had an insatiable appetite for more. My teacher accused me of fabricating my reading list when I said I'd got through two books one night.

Reading is integral to writing. You learn by watching and repeating until you find your own way of writing. Writing itself takes years of practice until you find your own voice, or until you start listening to what your own voice wants to say. For me, I think when I finally stopped wanting to write something specific and just let out what my voice wanted to say that it suddenly clicked into place. It's personal. The way you vocalise thoughts is personal. I feel grateful, in a strange way, to myself for persisting and getting through years of faltering and stumbling over sentences awkwardly because it made me realise how I don't want to write and gave me the confidence to let my hands type away then have a little look through to see what I've said. Do you ever do that? Read back your own work but have little recognition of putting it together? I'm pretty sure that makes it natural.

I like words. Expanding my vocabulary, exploring the lexicon. Delving into dictionaries and thesauruses. I'd like to jot down the new ones I come across so when the time comes I can slip them in seamlessly.

So no, not a creative writing course, Kezzie. I just started listening.

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