I am addicted to paper and pens. There… I have said it! The very first book I held within my tiny hands mesmerised my soul. I was completely in awe at the pictures of Ancient Egyptians that were laid before me. I was three at the time, and my brother so fondly remembers that I was completely obsessed with this book. And, indeed I was.
But it wasn’t just the spectacular pictures that were presented before me enchanting this little blonde haired girl, the shapes and patterns of the letters and words upon the pages also looked like hieroglyphics to me. These mystical shapes of the alphabet intrigued, awaiting for the day that I would unlock the code and pour forth the wisdom and meaning these words held.
And yes, there is more to just reading wondrous books… the texture and the smell tantalised my sensory and olfactory senses. Oh, that glorious feel of the pages within the covers. In the early days, I would only read books that felt and smelt appealing. Pages that had those sateen feel were my favourite, plus they also had the most delicious smell. Literally, when I had my head in a book it was well and truly buried in that book, sniffing and rubbing it over my face.
As the years rolled on I was well and truly established as a bookworm. Enid Blyton was one of my favourites with the mysteries to be told in my childhood.
At eight years of age, I wrote and illustrated my first book with my dad’s help called, “The Smurf’s New House” (I was obsessed with Smurfs at this time and seemed a good idea to write about them as I pretty much researched them to death!). This was part of a school competition/book week and even though I didn’t win, I was gifted the honour of having my book added to the school library collection (my favourite place to hang out too). I was over the moon and hooked.
In my teens my love for writing grew with the continual prompting by my rather plump spectacle wearing English literature teacher. Only problem was, I couldn’t keep the story writing short. Asking me to write one page about a topic was like being tied to the chair, hands behind back and using my nose dipped in ink to write the story. Yes, it was that painful not to let the multitude of words flow forth from my brain and onto the page.
Fast track to today. I am still addicted to paper and pens. I thought becoming a graphic designer for the past 25+ years and working in the printing industry, surrounded by paper and ink, would satisfy my addiction. Nope. I still can’t walk down the stationary isle of the supermarket without getting one of those weird twitches and my arm extending without my approval to just touch and stroke the pads and pens before me.
The pen and paper was, and still, is an extension of me. Through the mighty pen flows forth imagination, wit and a creativity that comforts me. Through these words I can truly express how I feel where the spoken word failed me. This is my true connection to the outside world and for the outside world a way to connect to me.
Reproduced from the collaborative piece, Why I Write on Spectrum Women. Click here to read the full article.