Once a Writer, Always a Writer

In less than two weeks, I’ll have a new address. It’s taken a two-year search for the ONE and a lot of ‘should we/shouldn’t we’ discussions but we’re finally making our escape to the country.

We’re only moving six miles away but swapping a busy main road for quiet rural road will be like another world for us. It hasn’t been an easy journey on every level (that’s an entirely different blog post)but we’re on the home stretch and ALL we have to do now is the dreaded packing.

I’ve never denied being a “never know when it might come in handy” hoarder, self-confessed shoe addict and collector of ‘sheep’ themed(don’t ask) stuff and various vintage items aka tat by my sons (trendy now but naff when I first started raking round charity shops). I don’t travel light, EVER, so having to pack all my knick knacks has been an epic task. I set myself to declutter mode and halfway through the sifting through process, I unearthed an explanation as to why I have chosen to devote so much time and energy to pursuing my dream of being a published author. I found an old letter amongst the junk gems that proved that I’ve always loved to write and always needed to write.

Gillian is on the left in the floral one piece, I’m in the centre in a fetching orange bikini (last time I was skinny enough to wear one) and my wee sister, Marie, is in the co-ordinating pink bikini.

 My oldest pal, Gillian (we met outside the Co-op when we were four) recently returned a ‘letter’ I’d written to her when I was fourteen.  After cringing and being amazed that my handwriting was once legible, I forgot all about the wee note. But rereading it made me realise that the need to put pen to paper has always been a part of who I am. I lived only streets away from Gillian and saw her pretty much every day at school or at home and yet I still felt the need to write her letters on a daily basis. I would give her the latest letter at the bus stop each morning, even although I could easily have told her the contents on the trip to high school.

Here’s a couple of excerpts with names omitted to spare the innocent,

“X has a bloody cheek…she can be a stuck-up little cow at times and she’s getting right up my nose these days. I’m feart to open my mouth or she’ll start arguing with me.”

“X is getting 3 bottles of Cider and she wants me to come ‘cos they’ll not drink it all themselves.”

Riveting stuff, eh?

I ended the note with, “Well au revoir mon amie parce que il est dix quinze heures.

Bye Helen

P.S. I doubt you’ll be able to translate the French, you dosser!”

Charming! My defence is that I was finding my writing ‘voice’!

It seems that I always did have a way with words, thankfully, Gillian puts up with my ‘humour’ and we’re still pals forty years on. I must have written to Gillian hundreds of times growing up and the letters were always full of adolescent angst and teenage melodrama (I haven’t really changed at all). I wish Gillian had kept all the letters because there is bound to be something that I could use now in my writing (a female Adrian Mole with a Scottish twist?) or just to make me laugh.

Have you always felt the need to express yourself in words? Did you write a diary, letters, and stories or even pen your first novel as a child?

Were you born to write?




2 thoughts on “Once a Writer, Always a Writer

  1. Love this story! Yes, I do feel I was born to write. I still remember the reaction to certain stories I wrote both at primary and secondary school. A particularly racy one I wrote as a teenager at convent school – involving prostitutes, drug barons and a car chase through the Bois de Boulogne – caused great embarrassement to my mother who was on the staff. When I’d finished my O’levels it was politely suggested that I might do better to continue my education elsewhere. Which I was very pleased to do…!

    • Ha! Did you keep the story from your school-days or did your mum burn it? My pal has responded on FB that the rest of my ‘letters’ to her are at her mum’s house- not so sure I want to read them now after all- might just be too cringe worthy!

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