Annie at Ink Haven recently tagged me. I don’t usually get involved with these things, but this one seems quite useful. It asks me to list five things I do to support and spread the love of the written word. And I do love it. But sometimes it’s good to examine and reaffirm that love. And whilst I’m not sure how I exactly support and spread that love, I do butter a slice of what I like and offer others the occasional bite.
Ten years into regular writing and I find I’m still thrilled, excited and indulged daily by the simple pleasure of it. Choosing words, discarding some, making sentences for sentences sake. Imagining a path and following it. Painting word pictures and sending them on postcards to myself. It costs next to nothing and can fill an entire day, or the time it takes the kettle to boil.
I like to give my words a comfortable home. I indulge them by buying beautiful notebooks for them to rest in. This is the delicious tactile side of writing. Turning smooth and heavy pages, words sliding quietly along feint lines or making their own way across a blank page. I’m always on the look-out for the next perfect receptacle. At the moment they are settling into a black Rhodia Webnotebook. I write with a cheap ballpoint pen that looks like a wasp! I once wrote a piece for a writing class about a paper addict which was very loosely based on me!
I’m bricking myself in with books. They fill every available shelf and teeter in piles where piles shouldn’t be. I read them too. And I try not to feel guilty about my infidelity to music - which was my first love and used to assume it would be my last. But those spinning discs of silver no longer lay sole claim to my heart. Now they have to share me with my paper-spined friends. I read every day and feel almost seasick if I can’t, and I give gifts of books to my friends whether they want them or have time to read them or not!
I try to appreciate and reciprocate the network of support and encouragement that blogging offers to writers. Sometimes all this time with pen and paper and the echo of your own words can feel a little isolated. I’m unlikely to invite a friend around only to say ‘listen to what I’ve written today, what do you think?’. Bloggers build bridges between desert islands. I try to post fairly regularly with things that I like and I think my readers might too. I like to read good blogs and take time to comment thoughtfully (most of the time) on their content and execution.
I’m recently learning to challenge myself - edge closer and at times even dangle over that precipice I’ve stayed back from. I’ve always been guarded around real-life writing, stammering over the word ‘autobiographical’ - but I’m starting to work on something that seems to feature me. Or at least me as a bit-part, a walk-on extra. It’s a little bit scary, but fun too. I feel like young cress, spindly and pale and flopping about. I need to toughen up and grow true and head for the light.