Over the last three - five years, my relationship with words has changed quite a bit.
As a child, reading was my main hobby. I wasn't sporty or particularly interested in running around. I was very much the child with her nose in a book or the one in a corner making something (usually a book). While I was happy to play games, they were imaginative games, with an emphasis pretend. British Bulldog was my idea of a nightmare break-time!
But about three years ago I got more into knitting and crochet. My Nan taught me as a child and I'd always done it on and off. But when my boyfriend and I moved in together, I started doing it more - to add some personal touches to our home and also because it was something to keep my brain busy while we spent time together, but that also allowed me to be social. Living with someone who sits in silence for a hobby probably isn't the best.
So my reading became something I did when I was alone or on my commute, which massively curtailed the amount of reading I did.
My time also filled up with other textile related things - from podcasts that I'd listen to as I walked to the train station or gym, to the events I went to. A little while ago, I realised that I needed more words in my life. I realised I missed them, that something was missing without them there. This was around the time I saw the excellent reading of Simon Armitage's Death of King Arthur at the Sam Wanamker Playhouse.
Since then I've signed up to some new podcasts - I'm working my way through the back catalogue of Books on the Nightstand (already a favourite - although I blame them for the sudden expansion of my to-read list) and I'm going to embark on The Readers next. I'm currently on the lookout for a good writing podcast too - any suggestions?
I've been picking up writing magazines again and these are the ones that I read when I'm treating myself to an indulgent Sunday bubble bath. I'm looking forward to watching shows like BOOKtalk and My Life in Books again.
I've tidied up my social media so that I'm now following more readers and writers on Twitter and Instagram.
It's been really nice, drawing the words back into my life. Suddenly, my social media streams seem a lot more balanced and I feel up-to-date with the book world again.
I don't know why I allowed the words to wander off and get lost. Perhaps when I was struggling to get my own out it was easier not to look at the success of others. But now I'm ready to welcome them back in. And with other peoples' words, perhaps my own waifs and strays will come home.