Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Imagine if writing didn't exist

I was watching Stephen Fry's wonderful programme Planet Word last night and in it there was a nation of people who, historically, never wrote anything down. They remembered all the important things from their ancestry and passed it down, verbally, through generation to generation. They had fantastic memories as a result. I'd be no good living amongst them as if I don't write something down I'll easily forget it! It made for fascinating viewing.

Imagine, though, if writing didn't exist at all. How would we survive? The root of a good story is in the telling, so maybe our language skills would have become more advanced. The Vikings were brilliant story tellers, along with many groups of people - we have an inbuilt need to hear and tell stories. Even young children love to hear stories from an early age and we all know how good it is to read and write stories. It is an essential part of our culture and communication. So I found it hard, when watching the programme, to imagine a world without writing - how different we would be now.

One of the older members of this nation was keen to encourage the younger generations to learn to read and write - he didn't want them to be left behind in this ever changing world. And I guess he wanted to record their history, their legends, their stories so they can be preserved for future generations. And part of the reason we write must be that we want a piece of ourselves to survive to the next generation. We want to leave something of us behind in print. We want to tell our stories.

How happy I am that we do have the ability to read and write and enjoy our and other people's stories. But there are people who can't read or write and I think that this is really sad. I'm all for these special education programmes that help people to learn how to read and write. Having this skill opens so many doors and gives us so many opportunities.

So, even when the going gets tough with our writing and we're fed up with rejections or we can't find the right word or our sentences aren't coming alive on the page and our words aren't sparkling, at least we can read and write - and that's a gift worth having.

Happy writing

Julie xx

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