Thanks for stopping by to peruse this week’s post.
Lately I’ve been pondering a few things, how long have I been a writer and have I always been a writer in some form or another?
As I reflect on my childhood I am beginning to think that I have always been a writer, in some form. This leads me to question, was I born as a writer? Is the desire to write and express myself creatively part of my genetic makeup or something of that nature? Perhaps it is something you are born with, but the choice lies in whether or not we choose to embrace the writer within.
One of my favourite things to do when I was young was retell known stories and fairy tales, often adding my own little touches to them. While these stories were not physically written by me, I believe all writers have the ability to tell a story and engage an audience. I am fairly certain that my 3 year old brother was engaged in the stories I was telling.
As my writing and creativity progressed I began writing fractured fairy tales for primary school projects, my year 6 teacher found it rather amusing that Goldilocks was charged with break and enter, stealing and malicious damage of property. I would do quite well on the creative writing aspect, but my presentation would always let me down. The curses of being ambidextrous with terrible penmanship in a time when school projects were handwritten and not typed using MS Word! It’s a shame that I do not have these early pieces of writing, I’m sure they were assessments filed away by my teachers that were later shredded.
In high school I still wrote creative stories when required for assessments tasks, yet in high school I no longer found joy in creative writing. Perhaps it was because I was fully aware of the fact that I was being assessed on my creativity and writing style and the humble assessment rubric sucked the life out of my creativity. This is when I turned to music as an outlet for my creativity. Like many people have at some point in their schooling, I learnt to play the recorder. It was year 7, we all had to and if you were to walk past the music room I’m sure it sounded like Mr Llewellyn was strangling a room full of cats, but unlike many of my peers, I actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed the creative release of organising sound and creating music. I enjoyed music in primary school (Mrs Fell is a living legend for those who appreciate the dying profession of the specialised primary school music teacher), but high school music was a completely different creative experience.
I stuck with music throughout high school and wrote a few small compositions and rearranged different pieces to suit different abilities, performances and instruments.
I moved on from the humble recorder, to play the keyboard, alto saxophone, clarinet, trumpet and violin (all rather unsuccessfully) and found my tool for expression in the form of the flute. Although I was aware I was being assessed, it did not seem to dampen my creative expression in music, as it did in writing. In my final year if high school I composed a somewhat “corny” song about our final year of school and how much it would be missed. However “corny” the lyrics may have been, it was an expression of how I and many of my peers felt about the bittersweet end of our high school years, the upbeat tempo and bouncing chord progression was a reflection of our excitement. I’ve said before that inspiration can come in many forms and at the strangest of times. While I was not asleep when I began to conceive this composition (like my current work in progress), it did however come in a strange form. It came to me while I was doing the dishes, as a knife dropped into the sink making a sound that triggered the simple ostinato pattern I would later use. I still play quite often but my composing is now often limited to the rearrangement of different pieces or the creation of “mashups” and medleys.
After high school I began to turn my creativity to writing again. Whilst I still enjoy the creative release music provides, I have rediscovered the joy I once found in literary writing. Poetry, children’s stories, shorts stories and now the beginnings of a novel. Nothing published, but that’s not always necessarily the point of writing. Writing is a creative release for me and I want it to stay that way, if possible. If someone were to enjoy my writing, that’s great, if they were to enjoy it so much that it became published, even better, but I do not want to write with the sole purpose of being published. I do not want the form of assessment that publishing represents to dampen my creativity and joy that I find in writing. As I begin to embrace the writer within, I want to enjoy the moments I have getting to know my characters, understanding them and the story they want me to tell. Perhaps one day this will change, but for the time being, I’m happy just writing for me and if other people enjoy my writing, well that’s great too.
So, it seems that perhaps on the day I was born, a writer also was born and now I consciously choose to embrace the writer within.
Now, just for a laugh here is a piece of writing I wrote in a ‘Get Well’ card I made for my mother from my baby brother and myself, circa 1993,
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
We made this
Cos we love you
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