For me, a major issue is to take responsibility for myself. I believe this has been the case since early childhood. One element of this is to adjust and fit in versus what I understand as my environment. Major tools for this are words and speaking. Another element of being responsible is to learn how to choose what I want and express that. This was disturbed somewhere along the way.
My first turn with words happened when I was about 11 months old. Suddenly the warmth and attention of my mother disappeared. In one major shift it was replaced by sadness and sorrow. Later I found a probable reason. Her sister died as a consequence of a bicycle accident. At this moment and desperately, I needed words. But I did not have any. A couple of years later, they arrived. I assume my way of using words has been severely influenced by my overheated need to reestablish a broken and close contact with mother. My ability to sense what I wanted for myself was hampered as well as my ability to express it and fight for it.
My second turn with words happened in puberty. I started to write daily in a notebook. I call it a diary although the word is misleading. I did not write details of what happened. I wrote my thoughts and reflections concerning what I experienced and felt. This writing helped me to stay on track when various events tended to derail me. I became a well-adjusted ambitious boy, got good grades in school and stayed put with one girl.
Writing in my book of thoughts is still going on, 64 years later. Today I identify a few less favorable consequences of my writings. During all these years I trained my hand and mind to cling to an abstract perspective as soon as a critical event is about to arrive. I tend to duck and avoid dealing with people concerned about the issues at hand.
A third turn happened in senior high school. Our assignment was to read the book” Dream play” by the Swedish author August Strindberg. My teacher gave me the task of describing the story. So, I did. Then he asked me to tell what happened in me after reading it, my associations, emotions and interpretation. I continued with a free-running presentation of what was in my mind. My teacher asked me where I did read all this? My answer was:” nowhere, it did just arrive at this very moment”. The result was a substantial increase in my grades in Swedish Literature. My teacher was a specialist in Strindberg. Once, he had made a dissertation on some works made by Strindberg. He had a part-time job as a teacher at the University.
My fourth turn was writing a dissertation within my field of research. I was very interested in transistors and microelectronics. I happened to get an excellent supervisor for my writing assignment. He deleted about 90% of the text in my initial scripts. I felt sad and sorrow. But soon I learned the essence behind the remaining 10 % and went on. I gained an excellent training in some skills involved in writing. Later I made use of these skills when getting assignments as a ghostwriter. I stayed in my profession as a scientist for a couple of years. But I felt a lack of growth as a human being. Higher education did not add much to that side of my living. I entered a few years of psychotherapy. Inner images and dreams appeared. They gave me a lot of energy and fresh new perspectives.
My fifth turn with words was interpreting the meaning of each of these inner images. I was extremely quick in producing these interpretations and I became stuck with those showing up first. Today, this urge to be quick in interpreting is less pronounced. Each of these images may have a series of interpretations of value to me.
My sixth turn is writing poetry. I created my first poem ever on the 4th of June 1992. I reached the age of 50 a month later. Starting in 2005, I nurture my poetic vein by participating in a group of amateur poets. We meet once every second week and share our writing and receive comments. The group is still prospering 15 years later.
My seventh turn in writing started six years ago. I entered a group engaged in writing at least 500 words each day. The first 30 days were hard but then I got the hang of it. This training has made me trust in myself and in getting words out in a flow. Later I have taken a step back and getting a closer look at what I wrote. The consequence is, I have to sharpen my style and narrow my approaches.
My eight turn in writing started a week ago. I contacted a writing coach. It was a good meeting. I felt reconnected to the childish joy of having a set of useful resources when it comes to playing with writing.
What does this review tell me about me and my turns with words, language and writing? They tell me writing is important to me, to my self-esteem and my ability to know my needs and to express and follow them. Yes, there are setbacks, obstacles and several one-way streets. But this is the case for all of us wherever we go.