Writing against the tide


‘Write your world, untamed’.

Madam E

We all need it at some point our lives, whether it’s writing a letter…. more likely an email to a friend, a text message, filling out forms or recording our daily thoughts in a journal to get things off our chest or express our feelings on paper.

Writing is or was a focal point of education when I was a child. Our use of computers was more of a once in a blue moon event. As we move into the future, the concept of what writing is has transformed to mean many different things including writing on a computer, with spell check.

In this rapidly changing globally interconnected and socially disconnected world we are beginning to increase our mental load with exposure to many instant systems like instant messages, emails, social media accounts which our young children teeter on the edge of until they reach the age to join the masses.

School curriculum is becoming more and more refined over time and intrinsically complex putting extra pressure on our educators to do more in a shorter space of time and there is no ‘off’ button once the school day is over. The endless trail of emails to follow up on and rigorous assessment and reporting eventually leads us into an endless pit of administrative work. Just like many other professions, as adults most of the writing we do is digital and usually not soul inspiring or to do with our greatest passions. Writing is becoming some, what of a chore to all of us, no? Handwriting? What’s that?

Are we reflecting this onto our children?

I too am guilty of writing against the tide and feeling the pressure to help young reluctant writer’s to put pen to paper. To be honest, as I caught myself in the act of succumbing to this pressure, I took a step back, took a deep breath and reminded myself that the wellbeing of the child and the connectedness the child feels to his or her surroundings must always be the priority. Mental wellbeing must come before learning to enjoy something that once felt like a chore.

In a fast paced environment, slowing down is sometimes the key to unlocking the writer within.

Writing is not just the act of putting pen to paper or hand to keyboard. Writing is everything! Writing is exploring the world around us and developing our thoughts and opinions on different matters of interest; writing is dialogue, connectedness, communication and the expression of our deepest emotions. Writing comes from the mind, the heart and the body’s journey before it reaches the paper or the word doc or the canvas. Writing is the ancient drawings of stories from generations of ancient peoples gone past.

Humans of the 21st century have one thing down packed and that is overcomplicating things for themselves. The human connection as we once knew, is on the brink of extinction. We head out to dinner and avoid the intolerant grumbles of other diners by putting an iPad in front of our kids to stop them from expressing their innate and completely unapologetic need to be energised, speak loudly and play. We sometimes treat children like they should be tamed because the public may stare at anyone who does not blend in with the crowd. I took my child who is just about to turn 5 to the hairdresser yesterday and as she skipped happily down the street singing to herself an old European man with a very cute train driver’s hat just stopped, greeted my child with a handshake and said; ‘I love your spirit’. The human connection helps us think, bond and write the world around us but some of us have forgotten this notion.

Children are not to be tolerated; children are to be studied and celebrated for their natural behaviours that promote good strong connections, good mental health and physical fitness. At a young age we slowly learn that we must be tolerable, we must conform and we must stay within the confides of what the adults in our society deem acceptable. Who wants to write or express their deepest passions in a world like this?

The best power we have is the power to create a small world of genuine connectedness for our children among the sea of disconnected beings. Each light you turn on inside children in your inner circle presents an opportunity for them to grow and do the same. Writing is way more than just pen to paper or endless bounds of administration work. Writing literally is everything. The tide will change with us.

Once you write against the tide and break water, you discover the magic world that exists right there in the waves.