In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”
I love handwriting, especially with my twenty-year old luxurious gold plated Cross-pen, which costs more than I would ever pay for a weekly grocery shop. The refills alone are £5 apiece, but it’s a small price for something that seems to feed my creativity.
When I left school, I could barely write and my reading abilities were below average. I must have been absent or asleep during punctuation and grammar lessons, it is even doubtful I would have understood what those two words meant.
I used to hate submitting schoolwork, especially English, because my passion for writing would inevitably return completely annihilated by red ink corrections and comments like,
“If you attend school a little more often, I might not have a headache marking your work”
“Such a brilliant imagination. Do less talking in class and you may well achieve something.”
Their appraisals never discouraged me from keeping a private journal. I did not necessarily write to improve and had no idea it would become something so special in the years that followed.
When the first keyboard came into my life in 1996, it was in the shape of the old word processors, similar to an electric typewriter. There was a little screen no bigger than your average mobile phone that would display two or three sentences with an opportunity to edit before printing.
I have a friend who is a published writer. In the days before email, we would send each other pages of Word Processed writing through Royal Mail with a first class stamp. This was the turning point when I wanted to improve for a reason. I knew I had a story to tell, but would need to learn how to write first.
My first-can’t-do-without- PC arrived in 2012. Along came the spelling and grammar checker and an opportunity to learn a little more about the art of writing. In the beginning, the page would be full of red underlines and in many ways, it did remind me of schoolwork.
I know there is still a long way to go before I’m nearly good enough to write a memoir, but sometimes I wonder how I managed to come this far. It is difficult to imagine how I would’ve processed all my woes without the ability to express everything in writing.
Today, I still write by hand and conceive every blog post on pen and paper. Nevertheless, there is something very satisfying about creating and pondering over a Word Document. My spelling and grammar have vastly improved, but I definitely could never do without my trusted ‘word-checker’.