I wrote my first book when I was eight. It was about birds with detailed drawings of bones, feathers and eggs. And then when I became a teenager, raddled with angst and acne, I scribbled desperately each night in a diary, of dark thoughts, dreams and foul curses to rain down upon the heads of my bullies.
And now, being aged, it occurred to me what do the spotty, doom-raddled youth of today (especially the tech-adverse) do to pour out their deepest confusion, twisted thoughts and anger? I know lots of young people write blogs, but there are some who would not dream of doing so, in case what was in their head became public knowledge, poisoned barbs for their peer group to throw back at them.
Writing a diary (or a journal) is a way to get all the pain and trouble, and stomach-churning misery out of your head and onto the page (a page you can lock away from prying eyes) and as it comes out, so may many other thoughts, some of which might be beautifully woven prose.
Pretty, sporty, entrepreneurial younglings can set up YouTube channels, write blogs, create websites… but what of the quiet ones? The poets, the songwriters, the novelists? Those who are tortured by their own thoughts because they cannot let them out?
This is now a much more connected world than it ever has been and we are all joined by a constant chatter; bombarded with information we may not want to know, or should ever know; facts detrimental to our well-being and restful sleep. Imagine being young and unsure and confronted by a world full of the great potential for disaster – it’s no wonder so many of the young turn to the mindless pursuits of celebrity watching or immure themselves within a screen, snug within the programming constraints of the game.
How tragic if the sensitive ones, who could become the great writers of the future, never put pen to page, never realise the euphoria of a mind unleashed.
If anyone out there ever does read my blogs on the wonderful world of words, and if you know a tormented, tangled young person, tell them to start a diary, or a journal… or even better, buy them one – and a pen, although... you may have to explain how to use it.