I was one of those kids who liked tracing things, especially letters. I loved reading and I remember walking about learning my spelling list words. In primary school I won merit certificates for my imaginative stories. I kept diaries or I tried, and I discovered the joys of pen pals when a friend moved away. I have a collection of paper, stationery and pens. I don’t write letters as often as I used to, but I still have a few pen pals, love dabbling in creative correspondence, mail art and mail tag.
Sadly, creative writing more or less stopped at high school. I kept the odd poem or essay and put a very cool pen pal ad in Countdown magazine. It wasn’t quite as instantaneous as social media but the letter box was crammed with letters for weeks! In fact for years I exchanged letters with friends regularly and have a box full of journals, letters and cards. I rummage through them occasionally, purging bits here and there.
Writing became more important when I went overseas. Phoning was expensive and internet non existent, so I sent postcards, letters and non digital photos! Learning another language heightened my love of reading and writing. I only recall snippets of learning my first language but the impact of learning French remains strong indeed. Once I got it, I was hooked! That incredible click between understanding nothing, then suddenly everything is clear, with the added bonus of more books to read!
Surprisingly, this is when I rediscovered my love of creative writing. I always take care to write correctly, however, writing in French allowed me a freedom from learned constraints and a whole new language structure to play with. I participated in workshops and quickly moved on to running them and studying creative writing at uni. It was a glorious floating in my bubble time, not without the daily nitty gritty, but wonderful nevertheless.
So now that I am feeling linguistically nostalgic and not remembering why I started writing this...well, not completely. Sharing some of ourselves and learning more about others makes the creative process and experience powerful. It gives it life and that is something we can all use more of. A breath of creative life, zest and energy.
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.