A lifetime of words

books*

I have always made time for words. Reading them, arranging them, pondering them…

At the age of four I was proud that I knew my letters. Even on the day that we moved into our new home, the most important thing to me was practicing them and showing them off. This was for some reason not appreciated by my parents when I chose to show off my writing skills on the side of a new chest of drawers (the perils of stray biros and four-year olds!). For the next 15 years the letters stood as a blue-inked monument to my early priorities.

This wasn’t the only impact my love of words had on the house. No more furniture was defaced (personalised?) but I liked to leave a book in every single room. That way, wherever I was in the house, I could just pick up the book and carry on from where I’d left off last time. It wasn’t primarily laziness (though that can’t be totally discounted), but more the deep fear of boredom, of moments missed when a few more pages could have been devoured. Where there are books, there is comfort, sanctuary. I have romanticised remembrances of a favourite tree in the garden for summertime reading. In truth, between the Northern Irish weather and the discomfort of the branches these were probably fleeting half hours exploring Narnia and Middle Earth whilst feasting my eyes on the green fields that surrounded our garden.

Words weren’t just read, they were written, toyed with, arranged and rearranged in my own short stories, poems, and – for a brief time – magazine, for which I provided articles under various personas. Books have remained a constant throughout all life episodes, but it is the writing that fell by the wayside since leaving school. Let’s blame a lack of time, priority, confidence…

Strangely enough, it has been my forays into crafting that has resurrected my love of and commitment to writing. For me, craft is the following of a pattern, the making of something from something else; writing is the expressing of the internal. I find crafting enjoyable and the finished products satisfying, but when writing I feel fulfilled through the whole process – conception, words to page, the metaphorical red pen, the decision that it’s done (for now at least).

So now I am making more time for words – my own and others. The local library has been joined. A laptop with battery life  and a functioning space bar has been purchased. Time in the diary has been carved out. I don’t regret the ten years when writing was restricted to journalling and the occasional poem for processing my thoughts. Those years of books, adventures, travel, change have led to now, a time when I feel that I have something to say. I just need to make time to say it.

*Joining the local library was supposed to stop me from buying more second-hand books. I was only popping into a charity shop for 5 minutes when this happened…

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5 thoughts on “A lifetime of words

    1. Thank you! I sympathise. Last time we went to buy a secondhand bookshelf because of this problem, we bought 6 more books instead…but it’s a good problem to have!

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