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Words have the power to alter perceptions and change lives, as KEZIAH FREIMOND discovered for herself.

I have, through the years, encountered many well-rounded and useful writing tips. But none have had the gravitas quite like the words given to me by someone I had never before met.

‘I don’t know what you are going to be doing next year, but whatever you do, don’t stop writing.’

These were the words spoken to me by the wife of my beloved English teacher during my final year of schooling. He had, unbeknownst to me, shared some of my creative writing with her.

Don’t stop writing?’  

She had no idea what her words would mean to me – a nerdy, hormonal teenager with an unquenchable thirst to write. Me, a barely-there adult who, until that point, could not conceive that she would have anything worthwhile to offer the literary world.

I took those words with all the promise they held, pocketed them with care and then chose a different path, occupational therapy, a path that led me to places I had never dreamt of going. I was scared that I would end up burying my passion for the written word under mountains of therapy reports, but I made my choice out of necessity.

I never stopped writing though; even throughout the daily slog at university and the never-ending workload that seemed to beat at my back mercilessly. I never did stop writing. Collecting my thoughts and uncertainties onto blank pages, slowly banking a fire that was set within me the first time I read a poem. I have never stopped writing.

Because ‘don’t stop’ gives patience to a frustrated writer who can’t seem to find the right words. ‘Don’t stop’ takes an idea the size of a mustard seed and gives it room to grow into a mountain that consumes the mind and soul.

It is the hope that one day, you the reader, would join me in uncovering the unknown in the world and enter the belly of the beast. It is the excitement of losing ourselves within carefully sculpted words that have the power to alter perceptions and change lives.

‘Don’t stop writing’ is not simply obvious advice necessary for success.  It’s a reminder that I write because I enjoy it.  It is a passionate bid to all creatives to continue creating. It is the telescope through which I see the world, and the microscope through which the world views me.  

In my matric year a woman gave me advice in passing. She was unaware of the power her words held and she could never know the ripple effect it would have on my life.

I want to pass this on in a similar fashion…

No, you have never met me before. I don’t know who you are and I don’t know what you will be doing next year, but, whatever you do, don’t stop writing.

About the Author

Keziah Freimond is an occupational therapist working at a special needs school on the north coast of South Africa. She describes herself as a beginner writer who has a passionate relationship with the written and spoken word. She is enthralled with the process of creating, and, at the most inopportune times, finds herself penning down poetry, children’s literature and fictitious short stories. Wherever Keziah goes, music, singing and arbitrary words are sure to follow.