One of my earliest memories of primary school in late 1960s rural Scotland includes the absolute joy of daily story-telling. Our first task each morning was to draw a picture on the top, plain paper half of a pristine page, then write a sentence or two about our picture on the lower, lined half of our jotters.
At five years old we would just draw at first, and the teacher would add a few words dictated by us. But as we grew in confidence we could pencil our own stories, however hesitant and faulting the spelling to begin with. For me it was a thoroughly liberating experience – I was learning to develop my own written voice.
I can still remember the thrill of anticipation as the blank page welcomed me in – the silky smooth sheen of the creamy top section begging to be crayoned and coloured and the faint blue lines empty and waiting patiently below for words to make them flow. I remember the strange dry-dusty papery smell so reminiscent of school exercise books – even today a whiff of school paper makes me smile with fondness.
Drawing and writing my daily story was one task I needed no encouragement to complete, as I always had something to say and an image in my head to illustrate my tale – sometimes fanciful, sometimes mundane, but there was always something ready to pour out onto the page. It was my space to be me, my space to show the rest of the world how I saw my world. The blankness of the fresh page never daunted me. Instead it spoke to me, inviting, beguiling, openly seductive, and I loved it for it.
I suppose for me blogging feels a bit like a grown-up version of that long-lost activity – this is my imaginative creative space to explore and expand my world and share that experience with others. I can post my own images and write my own words on a whim – I’m indulging in my own kind of visual/ non-fictional storytelling, my blog a modern-day equivalent of my beloved school jotter. And that feels like a good thing to have, an individual outlet for self-expression, as much or as little as I choose, my own virtual space to show how I see the world and to say exactly how I feel about it… 🙂