Writing stuff is not for everyone. Life can be difficult enough. Who remembers the 1950s primary schools and all the mistakes we inevitably made? Red ink from 'Miss' and red faces from us. So there is something to be said for a more flexible style of learning reading, writing and arithmetic. I hope less people today arrive into adulthood, scarred and scared to death of pens and pencils. Anyone recall that crucial transition into ink? I thought it was never going to happen.
The Outsider Forever alone.
Schoolmiss kept him in pencil
When the rest were in ink.
This is a haiku I wrote in the 1990s whilst studying English at Huddersfield University. I managed one year before I had to return to the real world and earn a living.
In defence of my primary school, I passed my eleven plus, a devastating lifelong failure for some if they didn't. In addition, Miss Town read to us every Friday afternoon. Treasure Island had us all enthralled. And, incidentally, I played in a great school soccer team. And Miss Town would not forgive me for starting any sentence with 'and'.
So you survive the obstacle course called adolescence, college, first job and career, marriage and kids (there are plenty of variations on this curve) and if you are not already writing, then you might want to have a go.
A diary can be a private start. A record of events, a breathing space for opening up concerns and their echoes (Seamus Heaney said he wrote 'To set the darkness echoing'), and a glimpse of what might be different. Many of us have good friends who listen and that can be enough.