I never thought - nor believed - that I could write and by "write" I mean put pen to paper, in black and white, and write something worthy of others reading, enjoying, commenting on, being inspired by...
A most formidable lady taught me this, she made me doubt myself: Ms Taylor, 1b English teacher 1986. She would peer over her glasses at me, occasionally removing them to put a leg into her mouth (and on special occasions she put her foot in too...), and reinforced that it was true, that I could not write. Funnily enough, I never liked her; she made me feel stupid, thick, incompetent of everything, incapable of all. I believed that I would not succeed if I could not (and would not) succeed at English...
Over the years the Scottish Play, Shylock, Portia, the Ancient Mariner, and the honorable fallen were but a few; fiction pursued for the greater good of grades, their stories lost among the passages read and re-read. "You speak an infinite deal of nothing" rang so very true; you were taught the curriculum and no flare or creativity.
So when this blog came to being, I took a leap of faith and I wrote all that was (and still is) important to me. I came to realise that "stories only happen to those who are able to tell them" but that everyone is able - in some shape or form, whether it be poetry or prose, photography or fine art - to tell their story.
Over time I came to realise that I can write; it may not be beautiful, but I can write. It is no longer about "pleasing Ms Taylor"; it's about writing from my heart about what matters to me. I only wish that I had had more encouragement, more opportunity earlier...
The 100WC is new to me and I have recently become involved with "commenting" on the work of the children taking part. I'd like to think that I can encourage others to explore their stories at a younger age, enabling them to realise that there is so much more to writing than the curriculum, that their stories come to life when read by another, that they can write.
You can find out more about 100WC here and if you would like to get involved, please contact @TheHeadsOffice on twitter.
‘The unread story is not a story;
it is little black marks on wood pulp.
The reader, reading it, makes it live:
a live thing, a story.’
Ursula K. Le Guin