I thought I would share with you the first thing I ever wrote.
The year was 1969 and being a very school lazy twelve year old, (quick do the math) I woke up in panic because I hadn’t done my English homework. The afternoon before teacher had given the class the opening:
’Mother packed a picnic tea and we set out for no destiny…’
It was up to us to do whatever we liked with it.
My brain not on school work was naturally empty of ideas, and let me be honest; I hadn’t waste much time thinking about it. After school there were chores to be done and if we were lucky outside play until dinner time. Dishes, shower, pyjamas and TV, it was pretty standard.
We didn’t get to choose a show, we watched whatever dad preferred and any homework was up to us, no nagging, it was our responsibility. In bed at night I fell asleep trying to think of what to write.
Morning panic set in. There were serious consequences for not doing your homework and it was almost time to leave. I had a fifteen minute push bike ride and English was the first lesson for the day. Grabbing my homework book I scribbled down a few lines and high-tailed it to school.
‘Mother packed a picnic tea and we set out for no destiny.
We travelled along so fast in our car and we had not gone very far
when a crash on the road side we did see and a man way laying agony.
The moral of this verse is to be very clever, drive a car carefully and live forever.’
My face burned like cinders when the teacher told the class that one poem stood out above the rest. It was mine. I had to go out the front and read it out aloud. The teacher went on to say I should submit it to the road safety council. (Road safety was in its very early stages then.) Needless to say I felt so guilty for the last minute rush job, I hid my head in shame and refused to do anything about it.
The thing I didn’t realise then was, I work my best under pressure. It took many years for me to understand, it doesn’t matter when or how you write. Wether words fly out of your fingertips and dance eagerly on the page, or are dragged out over excruciating days of screaming torment. Even if it is done in the last pressure point minute, all that matters is the end result. That you get it done, that you put the words on the page. Words other people will read, feel and get enjoyment from.
How did you begin to write? I would love to hear your first writing experience.