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Why write?

September 24, 2012

So, why do we choose to express ourselves in this way? Why not just talk to people? Sometimes, it’s hard to express ourselves verbally. I’ve always found it so much easier to say what I want to say on a piece of paper, than stand up and talk in front of people, especially those I don’t know. These things are supposed to get easier as we get older aren’t they? Not in my experience – I find myself still searching for the perfect word, only to come out with ‘thingummy bob’ or ‘watchamacallit’ or ‘you know…’ – except I don’t know, not at that precise moment in time. If I am at a keyboard though, or have a pen or pencil in my hand, the words flow effortlessly from its tip, my voice is transformed into a clickety-click of the computer keyboard or pleasing scratch of pen on paper. Writing is definitely cathartic in nature. I would recommend it to anyone who is struggling with a dilemma, problem, or tangled thoughts. Five minutes ago I was worrying about family, friends, studying, my new book project –  friends and family are at work or unavailable so there’s no-one to talk to.  Now I am calmer, the writing has reasoned my mind. A writers life can be a lonely one  – I am calling myself that now, as a book project is imminent, just waiting for the contract to come through. All I seem to do is write – Facebook rants, condensed Twitter thoughts, blog posts, academic notes, essays, and now the text of a book I’ve been asked to write. I’m even driven to poetry and short stories when the mood takes me and time and inspiration allows.   

I was blessed with a love for the written word, nurtured by my Mum taking me to the library every week, my fantastic teachers at infant & junior school, and find myself with an almost obsessive regard for correct spelling and grammar, for which my friends tolerate (well, mostly) this little foible of mine!

But I am also a sociable person (selectively sociable, according to a recent psychometric test) so I need to make sure I balance the two things. This week will be difficult – my mum is poorly at home and it’s difficult for me to get over to see her, Pete is away on business much of the week, so I’m reconciling this to be a lonely but hopefully rewarding ‘writing week’, and with the rain teeming down outside as Summer comes to an abrupt and chilly halt, who wants to go out anyway? It’s over-rated sometimes.

Happy reading and writing everyone!

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