What gets you moving, writing, creating, thinking, communicating, reflecting … ? I could go on. As human beings we advance, we flourish, blossom, grow. If not, we die. It’s the truth.
I passed a man walking his dog this morning.
‘What a lovely dog,’ I said. It was a Jack Russel type, one with long legs. The dog moved to the far side of the path as I approached, his head down slightly, nose twitching, ears back.
‘Ah, he seems nervous.’
‘No, just curious,’ the man said, not slowing down.
‘Is this your usual morning dog walk, what a lovely place,’ I said stopping, happy to exchange pleasantries. We were in a secret garden, planted with Japanese maples. It was peaceful, there was no-one else around.
‘Yes, it gets me up in the morning,’ he said as he passed and carried on walking.
Encounter over, I continued my walk.
A simple dog walk, helped this man get moving at the beginning of his day.
What gets me moving, writing, creating, thinking, communicating, reflecting is the need to tell my story. I began writing in 2014 as a means of continuing my therapy. Very quickly this developed into a desire to write creative fiction as a ‘way in’ to telling my story. I have progressed from writing short stories to embarking upon writing a novel. It is a rewarding journey.
When I was a small child, I spent an enormous amount of time on my own, reading, colouring, playing out of doors. I don’t remember being told a story and certainly not encouraged to create my own. My mother ignored me. As long as I was not being a nuisance to her, kept from under her feet and didn’t command her attention, it was alright.
When I was older and at the ‘big’ school, telling stories / writing essays in my English lesson was an extremely difficult, almost impossible task for me.
When I started writing in 2014, I realised much of what is written as a novice writer comes from felt or known experience and so it is for children. Drawing upon real life experiences helps a child write stories.
But how could I tell a story? How could I write a story where the central theme of my real life experiences were based on shame, lies and hiding?
My mother’s silent message to me was to keep the secret of what was going on at home.
I grew up feeling hot with shame, my mother’s shame. It burned inside me through childhood, adolescence, my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and into my early 50’s.
I no longer feel the shame … it isn’t and was never mine.
I can now tell my story.
I need to tell my story.