Friday, 12 July 2013

What drives us to write?

Welcome back, to all my friends who occasionally drop in on my ramblings.  You find me in the study this morning, sheltering from the heat, an unusual occurrence in this part of the world, but an excellent opportunity to share with you some of my thoughts on writing.                  

Like many of you, my interest in writing can be traced back to an English teacher, who spotted in me the ability to tell a story.  Mrs McIvor was an inspirational teacher, whose love of language and literature was passed on to me seamlessly, as if by a process of osmosis. At an age when I was forming opinions on just about everything, writing  provided me with an outlet to channel my emotions.

As my life has unfolded, I have used this outlet many times as a means of survival, getting my feelings down on paper, often by the medium of poetry, has helped me cope with life's highs and lows.  Indeed, it is the therapeutic quality of writing that has, much to my surprise, resulted in the completion of the manuscript for my first book. I didn't set out to write a book; in fact, the idea would have seemed too daunting and something I would never have had the confidence to set out to do, but circumstances dictated otherwise.

After three years living in the south west of France, where my husband and I renovated an old presbytery in the centre of a tiny French village, our adventure was brought to an abrupt end due to the death of my mother. With no choice, but to return home and support my elderly father, I was forced to take a step back in life, something which is never easy to do. After living this incredible adventure in France, I found myself back in a country with a generally dull, wet climate, where I no longer had family or friends.

At first I threw myself into various pastimes, and indeed, achieved an A star grade in French at my local college, but nothing fulfilled me like my life in France. Eventually, after walking the dog each morning through the changing seasons of my third year back home, I began to think about writing the story of my French adventure.                                      

I started off with enthusiasm, but genuinely thought I would soon run out of steam. Until something extraordinary began to happen; I found an escape from my mundane life.  Each day after walking the dog,  I couldn't wait to get back to my writing and relive every moment of our wonderful adventure.

The manuscript is finished now and it is almost two years since I sat down and thought I might just manage a few pages.  The book is an incredibly vivid interpretation of a wonderful time in my life and I thank my old English teacher everyday for instilling  in me, the joy of writing.

It made me wonder, what it is that inspires you to put pen to paper?  Have you too found writing to be a life-line? I would love to hear from you.

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