From Roots to Routes
by Daisy Hart
Writing for me has never been about the physical act, and instead has always been a way for me to project my worries, experiences and beliefs into a world where for me, clarity doesn’t exist. As a child I attended a Steiner school, a German schooling system where children do not learn to read or write until the age of six, and instead are encouraged to be creative and explore their imagination. This early emphasis on creativity is what I believe to have fuelled my passion for using words to express my imagination. From the minute I learned to string a sentence together in wobbly, un-joined handwriting, my life has been filled with words. I filled journal after journal, detailing things like the hot, buttery jacket potatoes I ate every day for lunch, listing names of the boys that I liked at school, and writing down elaborate fantasies of what I wanted my life to be when I was finally ‘grown up’. These diaries, whilst filled with the musings of an anxious ten year old, and therefore not the works of a literary genius, allowed me to develop the skill of using the written word to work out the jumbled thoughts within my head.
By the time I reached secondary school, I excelled at English. An avid bookworm, I would read and read and read, my shelves filled with well-thumbed copies of Pride and Prejudice and Little Women. I was lost in a world of fantasy; my imagination would run wild as I daydreamed the hours at school away, never quite in the moment, as I envisaged elaborate fantasies about my future. People had spoken about ‘writers block’, but at that age, such a concept seemed unfeasible to me. When I wrote essays the words spilled from my mind onto the page, a constant stream of ideas that seemed never ending. At this point I knew that I would want to continue my education in English Literature, as nothing brought me more joy than discovering an entire new world of ideas, tucked away behind the covers of a book. As time passed I began to discover that my writing was the deepest, strongest and most personal when I wrote about things that I was truly passionate about. As a girl I always felt somewhat disadvantaged in comparison to my male counterparts. My classes we segregated, boys and girls were pitted together to see who could achieve the highest marks, and in this gendered competition, it was no surprise that the boys came out on top. I read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale when I was sixteen, and I felt a deep affinity with her as a writer. Her central characters were all women, all of whom were relatable and believable. Feminism became a huge part of my writing journey at this point, and I used my skills to gain my place at the University of Southampton to read English Literature.
Here my writing focused solely upon women’s and feminist literature. I explored the ways in which women have overcome great traumas, obstacles and setbacks in life, and have achieved inordinate success through their writing. This exploration of great figures of history ignited my own passion to want to make history, and use my thoughts and words to try and make a difference to the world in which we live. I started a social media account, with the aim to inspire and educate women to get into fitness. Now, with over 25k followers, I am classed as an ‘influencer’, a dreaded word I know, but this has allowed me to develop a page that perpetuates an important message of self-love. In a time where women are scrutinised for every minute detail about their appearances, where they are plastered over the front pages of headline newspapers, detailing their flaws, weaknesses and mistakes, I want to use my voice to help empower. The 2,200 characters of caption space that accompany every Instagram post are filled with my musings on what it means to be at peace with yourself and your body, how we shouldn’t let what we eat, or what we don’t eat, define us, and how the world would be a better, and infinitely happier place if we didn’t constantly strive for perfection, and instead accepted ourselves, and others, flaws and all, for who we really are.
My love of social media and the influence that it has in our modern world then shaped the career path I decided to take post-University. I took a job as a content marketing specialist, which whilst involving writing, doesn’t fulfil my childhood dreams of being the editor of Vogue, or a Bridget Jones-esque hard hitting journalist. It is only once I stopped writing, and stopped being able to express my feelings through words on an almost daily basis, that I realised how much it formed a part of who I am. And now I am stuck in a space where I desperately want to be able to write beautiful, eloquent pieces on the issues that impassion me so greatly, yet I am unsure as to what those issues really are. To take the next step, and find my real route into writing, I must first find the one thing that ignites the fire inside me, which makes the words spill onto the page, and enlightens me with that fervent excitement that ten year old me felt when she detailed each boy who stole her heart. As a 21 year old newly single graduate living and working in London, currently my thoughts and ideas for potential pieces of writing are filled with what I’m currently experiencing; heartbreak, ambition, loneliness, and personal growth, all whilst trying to navigate the dubious London dating scene. Currently, heartbreak and self-love are the things that spark emotion within me, and I believe that where there is emotion there is a story, and so these may in fact be the things that take me further on my path to becoming a writer. From my childhood roots of diary writing, to my current route into writing, I have always had an overactive imagination, I’ve now just got to find the words and ways in which to express it.
You can follow Daisy on Instagram @daisyhannahfitness, and on Twitter at @golddaisychains.
From my childhood roots of diary writing to my current route into writing, I have always had an overactive imagination, I’ve now just got to find the words and ways in which to express it.