From an early age, I hated writing. As much as I tried, tongue sticking out in concentration, trying to remember the shape and the curve of each letter. My little fingers gripping a stubby pencil and saying ‘bottoms’ when I missed out sections of the alphabet or confused the letters back to front. As for the ‘b’s’ and ‘d’s’ well that’s another story. I simply couldn’t get it right. Perhaps you’ve been there too?
I dreaded having to recite the alphabet though I must admit, between you and me, the ‘L, M, N, O, P’ section was the most fun. Taking a deep breath in when I got to this part, puffing up my chest in a sing-song voice and waving my arms about as if I was conducting an orchestra, I always remembered the lemon part as I called it! Join me now, stand up, take a breath and shot out ‘’L, M, N, O, P’’ in your best voice and have a little shimmy with it if you must.
When it came to writing out the alphabet in its completeness, I can remember sitting on the chocolate chequered carpet which made my eyes go funny in Milton Road, Wimbledon, SW19, the house where I grew up. It wasn’t often I was allowed chocolate and definitely not before teatime! but seeing the chocolate carpet and thinking about chocolate well, on occasion when needs must, and no one was looking I’d clamber up on the kitchen stool, prize of the Tupperware lid of the chocolate stash container and have a good old much blaming any unaccounted for chocolate bars on my brother!
Grumpy, tearful and afraid of ‘THE ALPHABET’ which seemed as bad as saying or hearing a rude word and not knowing what it meant, I KNEW IT WAS BAD! I sat cross-legged, full of pins and needles in my legs from lack of movement, surrounded by balls of scrunched up paper crying my eyes out.
My mother’s angry red face looking fit to burst because I couldn’t learn the alphabet as quickly as she wanted me to. The memory of her shouting and waving her index finger in a pointed way – ‘’you’ll learn this bloody alphabet if it kills me’’ stayed with through the days of trying to write and the night times too hoping I would eventually remember and save her from ALPHABET DEATH. In the confused mind of a four-year-old didn’t I want to get it right in case it killed my mum, subconsciously I was blocking myself from getting things right and writing. What past experience might be blocking you?
I will let you into a couple of secrets. Oh, no, not ‘those ones,’ they are still a secret. Learning can be stressful and when my mum wasn’t hovering over me with that look of hers on the ‘You Will Learn the Bloody Alphabet Days,’ and left me to my own devices to practice, practice, practice, I poked out my tongue, pulled the underneath of my eyes down with one hand and pushed my nose up with the other hand at the same time. I’m laughing aloud here as I remember this. Try it out for yourself. It’s a lot of fun!
All joking aside, to release the emotions building up because I was making my Mum mad, I would sit and press, and press, and press in the dimples of the ‘Rice Crispy Wallpaper’ surrounding the fireplace (the bubbly kind of raised paper which you can deflate with your thumb and make a little mark) now that really did feel good and gave me a sense of triumph. If she did notice, she didn’t say anything or maybe thought it was my brother.
So you see as much as I love The Jacksons song ‘ABC, Easy as 123, simple as do re mi,’ It really wasn’t easy for me.
What do you remember about learning to read and write?
What actions did you take to make your past work for you, not against you?
Got a book inside you and don’t know where to start?
Your words and your story matter!
Let’s find a way to make it happen and turn your book ideas from dreams into reality.
Offering you an invitation and opportunity to join my FREE 21 Day Write from Your Heart Journaling Invitation starting 1st August 2019 online via a private Facebook group to discover your authentic voice within.
Contact directly to request to join and to discuss your writing goals and options of support.
What’s the best that can happen when you write from your heart?