When I was a kid, I loved telling stories. I’d write them down and turn them into little books, the unevenly folded pages filled with colourful scribblings in crayon and pencil. I’d sell them in the playground for 5p each. I was never in it for the money.
In my teens, I still loved telling stories. I’d write them down in journals – kitsch, girly things with busted padlocks, scrawled with musings and memoirs. I’d bring them in to school, where they were passed round and devoured during RE. And at uni, I’d spend hours on end writing to friends in the days before e-mail – a veritable sea of blue Biro, chronicling the trials and tribulations of my twenties in letters so long I’d include snacks for the recipient in the envelope.
Now I’m in my thirties, and I still love telling stories. But somewhere along the way, I stopped writing them down.
On my last birthday, a friend gave me a brown parcel. It contained a pile of photocopies of all the letters I’d written to her while we’d been at uni. She couldn’t bring herself to part with the originals, but she wanted me to have the stories, in the hope that I’d do something with them. Not so long ago, my mum showed me a box that she’s been keeping in her house. It’s a treasure trove of scripts, exercise books, notes, rough drafts, handwritten letters and half-finished diaries that I’d long presumed lost or thrown away. She told me I should compile them all in a book and publish them, because people would enjoy reading them. My little sister’s been telling me to write a blog for years. And just a few weeks back, a total stranger encouraged me to keep writing, having seen a vision of my hands, my words, and a pen.
So here I am, trying to get back in the saddle. I’m not going to tell you how to dress, or what wondrous recipe you should be eating, or how beautiful and perfect my life is, because it really isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination. There’s no agenda here – just a baby step in the right direction. I’m not really sure what’s been stopping me all this time, or what will come of my efforts – but clearly, something is telling me to get back to work. Something’s been telling me for a long, long time. This time, I’ve decided to listen. Let’s see what happens. : )
(Written on March 11 2015)