If a picture paints a thousand words, how many pictures will ten thousand words paint? Twenty-six letters, arranged in such a way, we can spell the words we speak. The Swedish alphabet has twenty-nine letters. In the Russian alphabet there are thirty-three and in the Chinese, there are far more. The letters we use to form words today would without a doubt, look rather peculiar to our distant ancestors. The ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphs to record their fascinating history, prehistoric man painted pictures on cave walls. Oxford theologian, John Wycliffe, produced the first hand-written, Bible manuscripts back in the 1380’s. Seventy years later, the Bible went into print for the very first time. Since then, countless books have been written, endless manuscripts, poems, song texts and amazing stories spun across limitless pages. Without words, our history would be lost. William Shakespeare’s, Othello, Hamlet and Comedy of Errors would have faded with his bones. Edgar Allan Poe would never have been able to give us, The Raven, nor Steven King, The Shining or J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter.
At the age of fifteen, I could neither read nor write. I was out of school and without a job. I was going nowhere fast, had no direction and worst of all, I had no goals and no desires to better myself. I was in a bad place and I really couldn’t see things getting any better. I met a young man though, a young man who actually believed in me. He was a singer/songwriter. He asked me to write a poem. I was obviously somewhat reluctant, too afraid to even contemplate putting pen to paper. He wasn’t to be dissuaded though and eventually, I did as he asked. He could barely fathom a single word I had written, but still, he didn’t give up. Together, we translated the poem from my spider-like scribble to words he could work with. He was impressed. I was amazed. I wonder where that man is today. We soon lost contact and I moved on. That day changed my life forever, put me on the path to where I am today, so many years later. Words became my passion and my love affair with writing, is as absolute today as it was the first time I fell in love with it. Letters, placed together in a specific order to create syllables. Syllables, placed together to create words and words, placed together to create sentences. Beautiful sentences, syllable after syllable, word after word; sentence after sentence…it’s astonishing.
It took me a long time to learn to spell, but I even figured that out in the end. I was almost sixteen when I began writing my first book. The spelling was terrible though. It was a computer that saved me, that corrected the spelling mistakes for me. One book became two, two became three. I have now written seventeen books, hundreds of poems, several theatre manuscripts and song texts. The Maze, The Blood Tree and The Changling are now published. The Watchman is due for release later this year. Reflections Upon the Waters of Life, the work of both Rosie and myself, was released just two weeks ago.
Now here I am, sitting here, writing to you. I wouldn’t be here without words though, wouldn’t be the man I am today. So, if a picture paints a thousand words, how many pictures will ten thousand words paint?
We all have dreams, aspirations, goals in life, even if we don’t know it just yet. I found my dreams in words, but you may find them in any number of things. Whatever your dreams are, don’t be afraid to reach for them, to hold them, to embrace them. Life is an amazing journey and we are all on it, together. So never give up. By Gavin Hill
Gavin Hill (click my name to go to my website to get more information on my novels,The Maze, The Blood Tree, The Changling, The Watchman and children’s story/musical (anti-bullying CD)William Gray and the Family Next Door and book, Reflections Upon the Waters of Life)