Meet the Writer: Catalyst

The second of a fifteen-part short series, Meet the Writer. These posts were originally written as part of a #meetthewriter challenge facilitated by author Beth Kempton. 

I was 5 when I wrote my first story.

I had actually started writing the piece as a journal entry, but the moment I started writing, the words immediately became fiction, as I wrote an idealized story of how I wished our holiday experience in my family felt. I tried again, but the words flowing through that HB pencil were again too sparkly, warm and dreamlike to represent my reality. I soon stopped trying to use the journal as a journal.

But I didn’t stop writing. I dug out the heavy—and loud—typewriter my parents had had from the early 70s. I started writing stories, clacking away to its soothing background hum. Problem was, every time I started a story, it always turned out to be the same story.

For those aware of my early years, you’d be right to anticipate that the core story would be about a young girl or young woman stuck in violent or otherwise problematic circumstances. Once, I even made the mistake of proudly reading out a chapter to one of my parents. Following her response, I stopped trying to write stories, and the hum of the typewriter went silent.

But I didn’t give up writing. I simply switched literary forms to poetry. I have no idea how many poems I wrote from about the age of 12 until I started working full-time at 17.

In the more than 20 years that have followed, I have refined my writing skills, in the areas of policy, programs, internal & external communications, public consultation, media & issues management, executive & political briefings, public speaking, formal lecturing and workshops, blog posts and two Tarot decks.

Only in the last few months have I remembered how to allow my creativity to be alive in my writing. I no longer have that old typewriter, and I am dealing with temporary disability that often leaves me horizontal and unable to type, but this time of forced hiatus from corporate communication has allowed the quietness and space for the creative writer who has been with me the past four decades, awaiting her chance to share her heart’s creations to make the world a better place.

Funny how I both began and ended this reflection with a catalyst. Thanks for being here.

Read more over here.

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