Acquisition vs experience


My name is Rachel, and I’m a stationery addict.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a writer. Every form, from essays to novels, from poetry to pamphlets, and even though I’ve grown up in this technological age (I don’t remember life Before Computers) there’s still something magical about filling a notebook. Seeing the ink filling the page up, and the feeling of the words impressed on it afterwards, it’s a feeling of accomplishment you can’t get from a keyboard.

Notebooks, for me, are more than a purchase to look nice, because I like having them. They are an experiential purchase, to enjoy the time spent filling them up, the stories that come out of them. Mark Twain said that “Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer”. As an author, he should have known better.¬†Books absolutely make you richer, and writing them doubly so, even if you aren’t called JK Rowling. There are some experiences you can’t convey in words, but there are others you can only have in them. You can’t quite describe swimming in a volcanic crater lake as the sun sets over the rainforest, but you can’t experience the Silk Road at its peak. Beijing has to be seen to be believed, but the bright colours and new smells of an alien trading port are beyond our reach.¬†Words only give a glimpse of what it’s really like, but even a glimpse is enough to wonder.

And writing them? That really is a whole other world. I’m a Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month, so I may have a vested interest, but I really believe that there is nothing quite as magical as writing a story. The blank page is like a sponge, pulling out of your head things you never knew were in there. Only through writing can you find out just how vast and underused your brain really is, and start to put that right.