I thought I should off load some secrets about English…
We can’t all be good at everything…so, before you all develop writers block and some such, do take cognisance that English, like Maths, has sections that you are brilliant at and some that you feel climbing Everest would be more satisfying.
After erm, many many years of English, I have still not mastered the fine art of storytelling (Yes, to use the technical term – narrative); I love listening to others stories and gathering pieced-together-evidence of their lives, but often struggle piecing it together myself with the same compassion and empathy with which it is related. I have contemplated that I lack empathy, but that is a blog for another time! My point is story telling (narrative) is my weakness in terms of English – it is my writers block! It is one of the writing techniques that I actually have to work at, it does not come naturally. It is not a talent, so to speak, that I am introspectively aware of or attuned with. So I have compensated my skills and with supreme ease direct them almost always at Descriptive writing, which is my strength – my talent, so to speak, there is an ease with which I can develop the quickest story using a minimal amount of words, my ability to relate metaphor is highly developed and I can easily manipulate vocabulary to suit the patterns and images I would like to create. Yes, this is why I love Poetry, this is why I love Oscar Wilde, this why I love Brian Patten and Adrian Henri and DH Lawrence and AS Byatt; and despite that I appreciate Walt Whitman and Dickens, cannot quite comprehend why writers of such talent would document an entire life in a 500 page completed works!
My point with these ramblings is; as with all else in life, you need to find your niche; your strengths in English, I will spot them soon enough on your behalf– but once I do, I want you to feel comfortable and be at ease with such proclivities… It is important that you don’t disregard any form of writing at the moment, you will be surprised that you may have a story teller hidden within you, that you have a Poet snuggled deeply in the recesses of your mind, that you are an observer; the essential tool for any journalist or the fine art of logical debate may be stuck in your temporal lobe hoping you’ll give it a chance to break free. You must try everything and you must try it to the best of your ability, then and only then will we discover if, like me, you have lopsided leaning (in terms of English) to nurture…and with this awakening comes discipline (be prepared for it as I am relentlessly ruthless once I have spotted it!), the practice, the daily frustrations and euphoria, the times when you wish you just had a piece of paper and a pen…just a paper and pen because words and stories and images and metaphors and immediate observation or superb rhetoric are as elusive as the wind, they come in gales on days at unexpected times. The one lesson I have learnt – always always have a pen and paper, your thoughts in the moment never return as they exist in that moment.