Following on from her superb blog on being a vegan teenager, Kitty is back to tell us all about another of her passions – writing. We really love hearing about life from today’s teenagers and are so proud when they write for our blog. Huge thanks to Kitty for taking the time to share her story with us.
If I had to choose one thing, writing is my passion.
I have always said that reading is the most enjoyable hobby that I take part in. However, as I’ve grown up I have realised that the ability to write is an incredible form of creativity which allows me to relax and observe the world around me, formulating stories and poetry from any given moment in time. It is also a way for me to mediate on things that catch my attention on Pinterest, something that catches my eye. The ability to describe a picture and discuss it in a way which is different from drawing or simply just looking, feels incredibly special.
When I was writing my personal statement for university applications, I was warned against using words like ‘passion’. This led to a much more complicated process of how to explain the love I have for literature, reading and writing. The very reason I was applying to read English Literature was because of my admiration and passion for the subject as whole, with writing being at the forefront.
Writing comes in different forms for me; hastily typed sentences that I create as I walk, half finished stories that live in the notes app, abandoned notebooks, poetry and more recently, articles.
Moreover, it is a skill I have been lucky enough to practice and improve on, even in school. I have completed coursework projects on Taylor Swift’s songwriting, writing my own fairy tale extract in the style of Hans Christian Andersen and an EPQ based on creating fantastical worlds and stories for children.
I would always recommend writing as a practice to anyone due to the accessibility it provides. Not requiring any specialised equipment or classes, it is entry level and falls into the same realm as art: all you need is paper and a pen. I treat it as a skill to be built and one that can only be built through practise – I wish I had told my younger self that I did not need to stress over the fact that the story I was writing had no plot and was not going to reach the incredibly aspirational and over-estimated word limit that I had decided on.
Simply writing about anything is practise enough, and whilst I am currently planning a fiction novel I do enjoy ‘randomly’ writing as inspiration appears. Inspiration can be found in many places, and I will often find myself reaching for my notes app when I am out of my house to quickly get down vague ideas or sentences. Most annoyingly are the ideas that appear when I am trying to fall asleep!
Outlet for Emotions and Escaping from Reality
Writing can be therapeutic as a release or outlet for emotion- you only have to look to the excellent songwriters of our generation who effortlessly channel emotion and difficult experiences into music, for example. Writing in its different forms is also interesting to explore in the context of releasing emotion- journaling is a favourite of mine and I have only recently started, putting little pressure on the aesthetic and look of the page and simply getting out my thoughts. When I don’t journal for a while it is noticeable: the ability to change thoughts and things weighing on our mind into words is an excellent skill and one that not nearly enough people utilise. Furthermore, writing can provide an escape from reality when life isn’t as fun-and-games as you would like it to be: writing can literally provide any other scenario.
Structure of writing
The structure that writing provides is often comforting, especially when the rest of life is busy or complicated. A favourite practice of mine is choosing an image from Pinterest, and just writing about it. Or, I like to work on the half-formed story that I add to every now and then. Fundamentally as a hobby writing can be an excellent practice to follow, and it is a skill that increases each time that you write: you can only get better.
Aspirations and recommendations
Career-wise, I would love to be a writer. The idea that I could write for a living is amazing to me, and I can pinpoint when I realised that this was a dream of mine: the opportunity to meet an author – Abi Elphinstone – when I was around nine or ten. In my local Waterstones, I sat with my mouth agape at tales of world travels and childhood stories that influenced her writing, and the book that I got signed is still a treasured possession. Throughout primary school I loved creative writing, and it has always come easily to me due to the amount that I read as a child, and how much I still read now.
I have also found that I love to help others creatively write, due to my admiration of the skill and a desire to help younger people understand what a fun practice it is. Last year, I had the opportunity to tutor a primary school student, helping him to develop his English skills particularly. I loved assisting him in literary methods, and how to craft a narrative or a descriptive piece. Reading through homework set and written pieces was intensely enjoyable and interesting. His parent updated me about the confirmation of his improvement through ‘Star of the Week’ cards and letters home praising his poetry and creative writing: passing on my knowledge and helping to develop a skill was very rewarding, and I was very proud of his progress.
Within my school I have helped with the NaNoWriMo competition (https://nanowrimo.org/) – a challenge in November to write 50,000 words of a novel. This is a mammoth task and I have never completed it, because personally I don’t like forcing myself to write under such strict time conditions. However, for some it is a great motivator for starting writing. My recommendation is ‘Write the World’ (https://writetheworld.org/) which is specifically targeted at younger writers – with monthly challenges, feedback on writing and blogs, it is a great place to get started. I only wish I knew it existed years ago!
I am passionate about writing and I would encourage anyone to try it- one sentence can transform a blank page into something far less daunting.
Thank you so much, Kitty, and the best of luck with your writing career – we think you’ll smash it!
If you’d like to follow Kitty on Instagram, you can find her at @kittysophiec
A little bit about Equipp
I’m Anna, mum to 3 young adults. I set up Equipp with my late business partner Louise (mum to 2). I now work with her husband and daughter. Our mission is to help spread happiness and positivity amongst today’s amazing young people. We believe it’s vital that every teenager is given confidence to believe in themselves. Telling them how wonderful they are and putting a daily smile on their faces via the cards and gifts they receive from Equipp is integral to everything we design and produce. Have a browse around our collections of birthday and teenage milestone gifts and please do get in touch if you have any questions or would like any recommendation.
We love to celebrate teenagers in every way, and are building a community of parents who feel the same. We hope you enjoy reading our blog posts and we’d love it if you came and joined us on Instagram or Facebook to chat about parenting teens.
Oh, and we’re raising money for a fantastic teenage suicide prevention charity, Hector’s House, with a donation from every purchase from Equipp.