If ten, or even five years ago you anyone told me I would class my self as a writer I’d have laughed out loud. Oh yes I’ve always been capable of writing a letter but then I come from a generation who had to put pen to paper because I come from a time before the digital age.
I come from a time when you were taught first to learn the alphabet, then to read words. Once you could identify the letters then the teacher would teach you to form and write those letters, first with a pencil, then once she (or he) felt you were ready the teacher gave you permission to write with an ink pen. No, not a fountain pen, a “scratch” pen. A scratch pen was a development of the quill pen, you dipped it in the ink well, if you loaded the pen with too much ink then it flooded on to the piece work and you’d be throwing your work into the bin. However if you managed to write those words, you had the exciting task of using your blotting paper to quick dry your masterpiece.
Once you’d mastered the task of holding the correct amount of ink on your pen, then the teachers task was to impart the skills of “handwriting”., the skill of writing words on paper which were legible to others and I emphasise legible. I loved handwriting, it’s a form of art, to form circles coupled with lines, dots and squiggles into letters, then words your fellow humans and peers can understand is uplifting.
Then years later I met Julie and the art of composing a letter with words which conveyed feeling and love became a welcome task for a man who struggled to impart his feelings verbally. Julie and I used to write to each other all throughout our lives even though we knew each other inside out. I’d find little notes hidden in my lunchbox or tucked into my pocket. If more couples wrote to each other, even while in a relationship would it lower the divorce rate!? Possibly! A letter enabled me to tell Julie exactly how and what I felt, her final letter to me I opened about six weeks after her untimely death, her words bought me untold comfort.
After Julie’s passing I resolved to write our story, warts and all, honestly and with passion. I never quite knew how hard at times this project would be. Writers block, only can work out of the country, never get the time are all excuses I’ve used to try and convince myself I’ve not got the confidence to finish the book, until recently. Suddenly I seem to have had an epiphany! I’ve realised I need to put all of the words reeling around in a mess in my head into order and on paper. I’ve written so much, it’s been proof read and well received. I’ve tapped my keyboard until four in the morning and had to make myself retire to my bed only to find I’ve needed to jot down more words in my notebook. Obsessed? I guess so, there’s a sense of urgency because I’ve more books planned and so little time.
After writing all of the above though I think I owe my ability to write to the love of my life for she was literate, accomplished and published. I feel she has taken over a part of my being and whenever I write, Julie is there whispering in my ear. ?
The moral of this piece? Maybe the old ways are sometimes the best, don’t buy your children an expensive video game console, buy them a pencil and notepad, who knows what they’ll write but you’ll be very proud and they’ll be a lot calmer.
Thanks for reading as always ?