“We read to know that we’re not alone”
– William Nicholson
I have always had a passion for books which is why Nicholson’s quote resonates with me. It was through reading that I discovered who I was. Books gave me a way to escape my worries, my stress and anxieties. In books, I was the heroine I longed to be in real life. They also inspired me; I started thinking that I would love to be able to write something that could affect others the way my favourite books affected me.
However, I hit a few bumps in the road. When I was younger, I was bullied and put down by my peers and even some teachers. When I decided to try my hand at writing a few short stories in primary school, I was always proud of the fact that I could write 10 pages where my classmates would only write three. I was filled to the brim with ideas and I couldn’t wait to pour them onto the page creating my own little masterpiece. But a certain teacher tried to squash these habits. I was made to feel bad about writing, because “it caused him to have to stay up late because of how long the stories were”.
This put a real dampener on my flair for writing and without realising I started to pull back until I was only writing three pages like everyone else. I had lost my spark, but reading helped me rediscover it.
It took me years to build back that confidence and to clear the wall of negativity that was blocking my creative flow. At the start of the year I graduated with a degree in Professional Writing and Publishing. I have some of my spark back. I’m still filled with doubt about my writing, but I’ve started to come out of my shell.
In an article for the Daily telegraph Nicholson wrote, “I think the hunger for stories is deep in us all, not an escapism, but as the construct of meaning.” We use stories to make sense of life; they can help give us direction or a fresh perspective. During my years of self-doubt, when I had almost given up on writing, books were there as my comfort and solace. They were there to remind me to keep trying. I write reviews for books hoping to entice others to pick up a book and delve into a world that may help them in some way.