Quite simply put, words make the world go round! I love them, always have.
I remember the first ever book that made me fall in love with the fantasy it held. Enid Blyton wrote about girls heading off to boarding school in Mallory Towers. I remember the first one I read, it was to my detriment that book that hooked me onto series of books. During a family holiday to Ireland, my whole family, my 3 brothers, Mum and Dad stayed with my Aunt, Uncle and two spoilt cousins.
For me, a loner of old it was my first experience of making excuses to go to bed, just for peace and escape into the pages that included stories of tuck boxes, trunks and sisters heading off to school away from their families. The excitement about uniforms and new friends, I remember holding that book. I do believe now, the hard covered orange book, which now I think about it was probably from the original print of 1946 and I should have taken better care of it.
These books had me hooked, not just to the story and escapism but to reading in general.
There is a saying “Fiction was invented to combat loneliness” isn’t this truth?! Many a night when I have felt alone, when I have been fighting a war I cannot fight within myself have I turned to comfort reading, the words that I already know, in books I have read many times before are like a warm blanket that can engulf me into its arms and I don’t have to think about anything.
We can use words to learn, although I am not a fan of self help books, I do learn so much from the fiction I read, the different way human beings cope with different scenarios has helped me deal with many people.
There are readers that just read the story, they just read to get from A to B without taking in the story or the lesson and there are readers that will take on board every word that is on the page.
Also there are writers out there that can tell a story, but they tell it to outwit the reader rather than engulf them into it. They are so proud of their ideas that they forget to add emotion, detail, 3 dimensional characters. It is just a means to get from A to B with them having one up on the reader.
Novels and stories aside, words are the window to the soul for many people. They can make or break friendships, they can build relationships and they can break down barriers. Words can also hurt, wound, and injure so easily if fired off in anger. Words can apologise, explain and win back if they are used carefully. Poets and lyricists are those that can write the most emotive, soul burning words that can bring your feelings and love to the forefront.
I love songs, but for the lyrics! I admire those that write with their heart on their sleeve. I love to listen to Passenger, Ben Howard even, and I blush when I say this, One Direction. The words of songs can take me back in time, can push me forward to wishes and hopes and can make me wish for someone in my life that can express themselves in that way (like 1,000’s of other woman).
Words are the oldest form of communications, written, spoken, sung. Text messages, emails, old fashioned snail mail, postcards and notes.
Recently I found the notes my ex husband and I used to write to each other in the mornings. In the first flush of love he would rise before me every day and often have left for work before I woke up, every morning without fail there would be notes left for me near the coffee machine. I loved those notes; I loved knowing that although his day or morning was busy I was on his mind.
Now we wait for text messages to arrive, just to know you have not been forgotten. We search our emails and social media. We look decide if we are popular or thought of through a simple like of a picture or comment. Instant gratification has made the sheen of words written on good paper with fountain pen mean nothing and a distant memory.
Hand written letters will always be my favourite, not that they appear anymore. But for years I would scour the stationery shops, when I was away at school for different coloured writing paper to send letters to my friends. Always about boys we liked, or the occasional band member. But I have all those letters still, in my keepsakes. I don’t have one email that meant something to me, I never keep them. They don’t seem as special as letters.
Now that I am a grown up, my love of words has not changed. I still enjoy reading books, often devouring one a week. I write for a crust now, earning a decent living writing stories and media. One day I will write my own novel, using words that I have held onto for many years.
Words are emotion; they can be a difference between what we think and what we get. They can tell someone how special they are or how hurt they have made us feel. But words, above all, can heal any pain if used correctly.
I have found an amazing cathartic release writing down how I feel, not always sending or aimed at anyone in particular, but releasing my anger and confusion onto paper has helped me heal my world, just release my feelings and I have been able to move on without that need to make sense or need answers for.
If we need to read words to learn, write or say words that teach and inform. Be the answer that people need through the way you express yourself. Sometimes we forget the written word goes far and above just at work.
I will continue to inhale books, reading everything in front of me, my escapism is there, on hand, no matter where I am.
Thank you, to all those amazing writers out there that have healed me, helped me and soothed me through the years. Keep it up!