Let’s face it – our relationship with writing can be just like one with another human being. Most of the time you’re madly in love with each other, but there are also other occasions where you and writing go weeks without saying a word. Ultimately, it’s worth it – but like all relationships, you need to make time for each other.
Recently we were having so much fun with the idea of writing being the love of your life, that we thought we’d ask what everyone likes to ask happy couples: “How did you first meet?”
And so we put the call out to our wonderful community to let us know (in 100 words or fewer) the story of how your love affair with writing first began. We received hundreds of replies, and in the spirit of creative curiosity, over the coming weeks we’re going to publish a new heart-warming selection of them every Thursday.
So, on that note, here is the first collection of love stories – we hope it inspires and reminds you of why YOU love writing… Enjoy!
At a tender age I was told I wasn’t good enough for You. I was directed to another and handfasted to them for fifty years. I served them faithfully all that time but they discarded me for someone younger. But oh joy! I’ve found You again. Is it too late now that I’m in my twilight years? Can we find the love and fulfilment again?
“Yes,” You say, “it’s our time now and no one can take it away.”
– Anne Tavares
I was five years old. I grabbed a piece of paper and my mother’s red lipstick instead of a pen. I started writing a story about two friends. I remember seeing the imaginary world slowly building up in front of my eyes as I wrote. I didn’t feel butterflies in my stomach, nor did my palms get sweaty. In fact, it was the exact opposite. It felt like a soft hug, like seeing an old friend after very long time, like finally coming home. And from that time, I knew we were meant for each other.
– Tereza Kolková
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been told I write too much. Teachers pointed out my assignments were too long; they warned me I would struggle with the mountains of homework in high school. They were right, but I keep writing too much anyway. Because there’s something intrinsic about putting pen to paper. Placing your fingers at the keyboard. It’s about making sense of the chaos of your own thoughts, or the world. Understanding the way you feel or what you want. Best of all there’s nobody else there. Just you and the page and the quietness. For me, that kind of escape hatch is priceless.
– Esme Wilmot
I found you in the lonely times. In the birds, the moon and the wind. We told each other stories, just to pass the time. When I was looking for a friend you came to me in rhyme. You were always ahead of me, knowing what comes next. You whispered great adventures to me, ones I rarely told. Slowly we opened up together, daring to be shared. You reveal the deepest parts of me, the sad and the bright. With you I become much more, it is you that holds my light.
– Bree Murphy
I don’t know the exact moment I noticed you, but I remember the tingle in my body that wouldn’t stop. I kept coming back to you if only to be near you – to feel the rollercoaster-like anticipation bubble in my stomach. I am drawn to do things for you like bring you coffee. I obsess to touch you and spend time with you. You are my focus, my obsession, the fuel of all my thoughts at the expense of keeping the secret of our affair. Do you love me? Yes or no?
You Know Who
– Tammy Breitweiser
A day like all the ones before. The heavy eyes. The churning gut. The lump in throat.
Knees under chin on the big rock behind music hall.
Dodging words hurtled by impulsive tongues.
The three o’clock relief.
Then safety. Hand poised over recycled paper. A present. The pencil a masticated mess from nervous teeth.
The pages fresh and clear; but for one, two, three droplets.
Each brush of lead a lightening of bones. A trembling of lips. A bitter comfort.
The paper; a friend. It hears the words and lets them be.
A becoming way for unburdening truths.
– Nicole Jacobsen
I must confess, I’ve always loved you, although you never knew. I felt unworthy of your affection, so I hid in the shadows.
It was tragedy that finally brought us together, me grief stricken, the weight of my cancer diagnosis weighing heavily around my soul. You allowed me to express my feelings without judgement, and later you were my oasis, the place I could escape to. I could enter a different world, away from my pain and fear. I still feel unworthy, but I no longer hide in the shadows. I embrace you my love, my writing.
– Josephine Ripepi
Kindergarten was tough. I couldn’t run fast like the other kids or jump the silver benches. However, one September morning while inspecting our rose bushes I found something special. I put it in an old jar Baba gave me and took it to school.
Mrs Linard made me put it on her desk while we learned to make sentences. Staring at it from across the room, inspiration hit. From a book’s back cover I found the correct spelling and competed my first story: ‘I got my ladybird.’ Putting those words together gave me a thrill I still get today.
– Greg Tantala
My love for writing was prescribed to me by a doctor.
Growing up hearing stories of the Lorax, Horton and the Cat.
All I wanted to do was grab a pen and do just that.
I haven’t stopped writing, I love it more as I grow.
Dr. Seuss showed me, through writing, the places I can go.
– Markos Hasiotis
It all started about ten years ago when I was nine years old, at school.
During my first creative writing class, our teacher was telling us about how we should use our imagination to write a story about a day at the beach, it intrigued me and as I started writing, it all came flowing in my head like I was living in my own private little world.
It gave me a sense of power as I felt like I could create my own world. That became my escape from reality…
– Hirsha Rewa
We met in darkness. Where there was no hope.
Where fear and regret laid waste to my heart.
You held me close as I slept. Even closer when I was awake.
You squeezed tears from my eyes. Forced the screams from my throat.
Stripped me of light.
And yet, it was you, Death, who showed me the way.
A new purpose amidst despair. One that would not break.
Words to tell your story. My story. Our story.
The day I lost my sweet love was the day I began to fall in love… with writing.
– Karen Liversz
A spell over me it did cast,
A love affair, forever to last.
Magical lands, just above the trees.
Oh please, let it be the Land of Do-As-You-Please.
Climbing higher, we went to the top.
Water! Watch out! It’s Dame Washalot.
His smiling face as round as the moon,
and Ol’ Saucepan Man with his metal spoon.
Down the slide we would go, me,
Fanny, Bess, Dick and of course Jo.
To my folks, forever grateful I will be, for reading me,
The Magic Faraway Tree.
– Robyn Noble
Forsaken first love. My infatuation with writing was buried since high school. I pursued her but she did not reciprocate. We eventually drifted apart.
When mid-life crisis hit, my old flame beckoned mysteriously through the form of a competition in my child’s school. Thought I would flirt with her, with no intention of winning her heart.
While having fun dating nightly with “writing” three weeks consecutively, our passion was revived and love blossomed. My late nights and persistence paid off as I arose triumphant, having stolen her heart and crowned the winner in the school’s short story writing competition!
– Yee Min Koo
Words lifted me out of the open boot of the family station wagon parked on the grass next to the airstrip. Hunched over the handmade book, jagged edged with a red cardboard cover, I wrote the title in lead pencil. ‘The Spring Fairy’ was eight pages of Twinke’s adventures before she and the forest went to sleep at the end of the summer.
My very first manuscript was finished whilst my family looked up at the aviation displays and ate the picnic lunch.
My seven-year-old mind happily glided through another world.
I’ve never landed.
– Melanie Ross
My lover is a mystery to me, still, after all these years. I first met her when I was 12 and she whispered a gentle song into my heart. I’ll never forget the lyrics she implanted into my young, restless mind. So soothing. So encouraging. I beseeched her for more, then she gave me a book. I recall every beautiful passage explaining the true meaning of love,- kind, forgiving, enduring. Although she has no face or name, my lover taunts and excites me with her mystery, which she has taught me is so very, very important, in eternal love.
– Claire Penhallurick
High School for me, as it was for many, a very awkward and confronting time. I struggled making friends and even when I thought I had I felt this unwavering feeling that I was an imposter and that I would be discovered for the fake that I was.
When things felt like they were becoming too much, and the walls felt like they were closing in I found solace in a piece of paper and a pen. I didn’t have to prove myself or be the best or try to fit in. It felt comfortable and real, and me.
– Dominique Bebbington
A friend bought me a journal and suggested I get to know Writing. Initially I started to see Writing briefly and sporadically. Yet as the years went by it grew deeper and longer. I felt I could open up and explore my feelings with Writing. My love of reading encouraged me further, to take the next step with Writing. I signed up for classes to teach me how to be better with Writing. It’s been a long road but we’re still together every day, either exploring our emotions or crafting beautiful new stories.
– Sumi Mahendran
It’s been three years. I know our break was my choosing, but I want you to know that I’ve changed.
Bumping into you again in the home office, I knew I’d let go of something real. How could I throw away all those nights of obsession we spent together through university? My fixation on you gave me a strange confidence fuelled by disinterest in the real world. I miss that. I miss you.
I know it may take a bit of work to get back to how we were before, but if you’re willing, I want to try again.
– Hannah Beazley
Writing and I were introduced to each other by three frenemies, Sleepless Nights, Silent Screams and Torrential Tears. Writing let me know early that he didn’t mind using the medium of letters to God in red pen and tear-crinkled paper. He was a good listener, he never got embarrassed by the frenemies being around, and he helped me find Emotions and locate Reason. I spoke to him of my fears and hopes and he helped me find the words to share them with others too. Then one day, I realised that I couldn’t live without him.
– Naomi Currie
I became entranced by the magic of the written word as a very young child as marvellous stories were read to me. I couldn’t wait to start school as I was told that it was there that I would learn how to write my very own stories. That first day when I walked into the classroom I was horrified to find a bunch of desks each with a ball of playdough on top! Thankfully my first school teacher was quick to recognise my desire and supplied me with “special” paper to practise my stories on. That’s where our affair began.
– Suzie Pybus
I opened an old basket trunk where my journals were stored. I had started at age 13 and dwindled off after I married at 24. I spent weeks reading journal after journal, watching my handwriting change and myself grow. Simple records of daily events gradually changed into descriptions of my thoughts and dreams. When I finished reading them, I realised how good writing had been in keeping my teenage self genuine and how reading the words penned from my own younger hand made me feel so good in the now! Writing is a kind and faithful lover.
– Bec Fletcher
We met as many writers do, enraptured by stories: the words, the sounds and the places they took me. Up the Faraway Tree, hunting tigers burning bright, to Prince Edward Island, and solving mysteries with Trixie Belden. Spelling, play-acting, reading; that’s how we became firm friends. At ten, I learnt to type on a clackety old Remington I found in the garage. My tiny fingers ached from making words appear on the crisp A4. I wrote a weekly family newsletter that even my teasing brothers liked. Glowing with happiness, writing felt like a beautiful hug from my mum.
– Janet Russell
Do voices keep you awake at night?
All shouting louder than the other in a crescendo to be heard.
You toss and turn, pull the blanket up and down, kick it off the bed with hands clasped into fists telling those voices that you’re tired and need rest.
But they want to argue,
“Her eyes are green not blue”
“He has a hook for a hand”.
I was six years old.
Putting pen to pad was to put a silencer on the voices.
These days they speak one at a time, because they know I’m listening.
Love? No, it’s possession.
– Cam Johnson