Producer, Writer and
Co-Founder of Open Road
One of my clearest, and most unpleasant, memories of school is being made to stand at the front of the classroom following a spelling test in which I’d got nothing right. The only other memory of being asked to stand at the front of the class was following the completion of creative writing homework.
Despite not being able to spell, I worked hard to master the act of writing and the more I could control my hand to hold the pen and its movement across paper, the more I could keep up with my imagination and deepen the connection with my creativity. Today I’m a published and commissioned writer. I’ve written for the stage, worked for years as a travel writer and, as well as my creative work, I write business plans and company strategies. None of which I could have achieved if I’d listened to the teacher who said I couldn't spell, but listened instead to the teacher who recognised I could write. I use a computer a lot these days, but it all starts with a pen and paper and the direct line of communication this gives me to my authentic voice and the confidence I find there.
I write all of the notes for my books, plays and business plans by hand first, as well as a personal journal. Today there are many ways to creatively express yourself that weren’t available to me growing up, some of which I now use. But nothing gives me that direct, confident line of connection to my authentic creative voice than handwriting. And I couldn’t have achieved anything I have in life since leaving school unless I’d learned to write.
If you can’t write by hand, you can’t take control of your own story, which means someone else will do it for you. Words on a screen disappear into a transient digital world. But your words written on paper are your mark in the world for future generations to know who you are, what you had to say and the story you have to tell.