How I started writing

Cogitating after writing my last poem, I realised this week I had already been thinking about my writing development and where it got started. I’m sharing here to let you know about one person’s journey and perhaps you will pick up some pointers for your own journey.

I remember enjoying some writing or poetry exercises in primary school. I don’t remember anything outside of the education stream. Although my best friend through primary and early high school used to write very short stories and share with me so it’s possible I also dabbled a little.

I realised that I started writing out my thoughts from a training exercise in teacher’s college, over 25 years ago! (I suspect there is no record of anything other than very occasional school writings before then.) We were required to write daily journal entries for at least 4 weeks and here I found my conversational style of writing (with frequent use of layering bracketed asides (just like this)).

At some point after I dropped out of that course, I discovered the need to keep writing. To distil the thoughts in my head into something manageable, and sometimes just to clear it out. I grew a fondness of writing on lined pads with 2mm nib coloured felt tip pens (I think the American term is Sharpie, from the brandname). Water-based, in red, blue, black and maybe a green as well. This let me get words down on the page rapidly using broad strokes of big letters taking up double lines on the page. At times my mood would be quieter and I would use finer felt tip pens, or a ball-point pen, within single lines of the page, but the preference always remained for boldness.

My writing became influenced by some books I came across. They were paraphrased contemporary versions of the Psalms from the Christian Bible. Psalms are essentially songs of old, so I felt very connected with the style which came similarly within my more poetic writing at times.

Fast forward through the years, lots of writing to clear intense emotion.
For something new I started writing a blog in 2004, similar to this one, but less refined, more a place to put down my thoughts and occasional poem. Though it does contain a few gems which I may repost here.
A five year break in my writing records. I was doing a lot of personal development work. Some weekend and day courses with others. Writing focussed on very specific goals or outcomes. A lot of insight. Some breakthroughs, but not enough. Monthly discussion meetings. Generally good times.

Then last year, some personal crisis while travelling overseas, and I connected with a recent friend (who then became the one person I can talk about anything with) and after some very deep discussions, they suggested to start blogging again, and so it began here.

I started writing as I felt the need, when it was all just bursting below the surface, needing expression. I searched for other writers, looking for connections, finding them, growing them, but especially being inspired by what others wrote around here. And that continues now in even more exciting ways. I see people collaborating across the globe and timezones. They share their own journeys and ideas, promoting more writing. But always with an authenticity from focussing deep within, and a fair serving of vulnerability. Just as I always strive for.

I find my writing now comes out when I confine my focus to my personal space, shutting out the rest of the world for a time. Usually at home in a quiet loungeroom. In these days of technology, I achieve this typing away in the Notes app, on a virtual ipad keyboard, or more often, on a portable bluetooth keyboard connected to my phone. Small, focussed, writing. Instantly saved and shared across devices, just how I like it.

How did you get started? What are your favourite writing techniques or places? Do share.

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