Happy National Writing Day!


Happy National Writing Day!

For those of you who might not have heard of National Writing Day, you’ve probably figured out that it’s a day dedicated to writing!

Organised by First Story and partner arts and literacy organisations across the UK, the main aim is to get people across the UK writing, and to spread this inspiration across all ages, genders, cultural and economic backgrounds: everyone has a story to tell, and today is all about getting to share what you want to say.

Aloma Writes | National Writing Day

In honour of NWD, I’ve taken part in the free-write activity suggested by the NWD website. To summarise, it’s a 7 minute free write starting with the phrase “I feel most free when…”.

Here’s what I wrote on my way to work this morning:

I feel most free…
When I’m happy being me.
When my mind is my home, not a prison,
That lets the light in,
And unveils what was hidden from me in the darkness:
That life gives more than what I see.
I feel most free,
When the rain falls outside my window, and I’m tucked into the warmth of my bed.
When I catch the subtle scent of spring forming at the end of the winter months.
When I’m in the sun and I have nowhere else to be.
I feel most free,
When I’m visiting a new place, and I don’t get lost!
When I’m speaking Italian to a native and they can understand me.
When I’m exploring places I’ve always wanted to be.
I feel most free,
When I’m meeting new characters, who will live forever in my mind.
When I’m building worlds I would love to visit in real life.
When I’m writing, and it seems to explain everything I feel right then.
I feel most free,
When I’m with my friends and my sides are hurting from laughter.
When I’m dressed up to go out and dancing without a care.
When I’m playing my guitar and hear how I’ve improved.
I feel most free,
When I look back on my life so far with a smile.
When I see my flaws but don’t let them define me.
When I list the things I love to experience in my life,
And when I realise I can say, truthfully:
I feel most free, when I’m happy being me.

It’s meant to be a free write, so aside from grammar and spelling errors I’ve pretty much left it as it is.

When I started the exercise, I obviously asked myself the question “What makes me feel most free?”, and I thought of a long list of things but my notepad stayed empty, mainly because none of those things had anything in common.

Except one thing: the fact that they make me happy.

Aloma Writes | National Writing Day

The more I thought about being free, the more I realised I’m at my happiest when I love the fact that I’m me. It might sound a little narcissistic to say it so bluntly, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s gone through periods of feeling down. During those times, I tend to hate a lot about myself: my awkwardness, my body shape, imperfections on my face, my social anxiety, my inability to concentrate, and generally everything about myself that isn’t ‘perfect’.

I look back at those times in my life and I see how restricted I felt, and how it seemed like there was not a lot to really live for; in effect, the opposite to ‘feeling free’.

So when I started this exercise, I decided I was going to list the things that make me happy to be me. There are so many things in my life that I love getting to experience and weirdly enough, making a list of some of them has actually been pretty useful. In future, if ever I find myself in another period where I can’t see the light, I’d like to think I’ll look back on this little piece; maybe it will be the light I need to shine on my life when my inner light has gone out.

Aloma Writes | National Writing Day

That’s probably a little more in depth than this exercise requires, but it was interesting to get into and I surprisingly got a lot more out of it than I thought.

If you haven’t already, have a go yourself and see what you come up with! I’m following the #nationalwritingday and #writeaway tags today, so if you want to share your writing publicly, make sure to use those tags! I’m so interested to see what everyone is writing – after all, everyone has a story to tell!

Have a lovely National Writing Day!

Aloma Writes | Happy National Writing Day

Background feature image by Magdalena Raczka on Unsplash

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