I’m a writer…Really?
“Hi, I’m Tric, (pronounced Trish), I live in Ireland and I’m a writer.”
There’s a first. I don’t think I’ve ever written that before and it’s made me smile, because as I hear myself say ‘I’m a writer,’ a favoured expression of my Dad’s comes to mind,
“You’re a right chancer.”
These were words often used affectionately to describe me growing up and if I’m honest being a chancer is indeed how I’ve lived life to date. Thankfully, my ‘chances’, or risks, have largely paid off and my rather relaxed, devil may care attitude has paid dividends in my life to date.
In the past few years, hoping to learn more about writing, I’ve attended several writing festivals and events. At almost every one of them I’ve heard the guests say, “I’ve been writing stories all my life.” Listening, my confidence took a major hit as I wondered, ‘Can I call myself a writer if I’ve not been writing since I was in the womb?’
I’d always enjoyed reading as a young mother of four, but as I’d battled through, barely keeping my head above water, I’d had no inclination to write stories, poetry or flash fiction. I did however write non-fiction regularly… in my diary.
That diary now occupies two copybooks and spans thirty years of living. I began to write in it, heartbroken, searching for words to express my pain after losing my Dad to Motor Neurone Disease, or ALS. He was fifty-two.
Those first pages are filled with raw emotion mixed with tears as I poured my heart onto the pages. Late into the night I wrote, the physical ache in my chest sometimes so great I wondered how anyone survives grief. It was in my writing I unravelled the hurt and with each word I gradually made sense of my new life, living in a world without my Dad. I’d always loved to write, but this was the first time I needed to. I was twenty-one.
Today, almost thirty years later, the need to write is as great as ever.
It became my daily compulsion; my diary, my closest friend. Pouring out emotions I’d rather no one else knew about, onto blank pages, my diary listened, answering questions I’d not even known I’d asked.
It was there for me when I met my now husband and those early days of first love in all its passion, exhilaration and excitement. Perhaps it smiled as I shared rows, misunderstandings and make-ups? It kept me sane as I gave birth to and reared four children and comforted me once more while I said painful goodbyes to two friends and my best pal’s young son, Daniel.
However, despite our close friendship, there was one secret I never shared with my diary. As a young teenager, much of my childhood was stolen. I told no one, there were no words. When it eventually came out and was big news in Ireland, I still couldn’t give it a voice, even in writing on a page.
Four years ago, by chance my brother said I should start a blog. I had no idea what that was, but as I looked into it I liked what I discovered. It could be my digital diary. As I began to set it up I had no idea that anyone would ever read it. How could they if I didn’t tell anyone it was there?
My very first post was such a thrill for me. I pressed publish delighted to have set free the first page in my new diary. A few minutes later I discovered someone had read it. I nearly had a heart attack and immediately began to research how to delete it.
Thankfully before I found out how to, I’d received a lovely comment and then another. It was the beginning of a whole new experience, the world of online writing and the discovery of a community who are amazingly generous and kind. I was hooked.
For three years. I wrote regularly and conversed almost daily with new ‘friends’. Writing online coincided with the dreadful year that was young Daniel’s diagnosis and treatment for leukaemia. As I struggled to live a life alongside such tragedy, fellow bloggers gave unwavering support and after Daniel lost his battle so many stood beside me.
Finally, in the safety of my own blog, I found the words to speak my secret aloud and set it free.
I am now in a new chapter of life; I’ve begun to enjoy writing short stories and flash fiction. This year I’m determined to enter a few competitions and put myself out there. I’ve also somehow got myself a column in an Irish national newspaper, a hopefully humorous look at my life called, surprisingly enough, “It’s my life.”
So, having thought it all through I think it’s okay to call myself a writer aloud, but deep down a part of me will always chuckle at the notion and believe my Dad was right all along.
I’m a right chancer.
Find and follow Tric
and read Tric’s column at the Irish Examiner
About Tric Kearney
I’m a writer living in Cork, Ireland. I grew up among a large family, where competition to tell the most compelling or entertaining story at the dinner table was fierce. Emerging from the mists of being a stay at home mother to four children, I’ve finally found my writing voice.
My blog ‘My Thoughts On A Page’ was voted Best Personal Blog at the Irish Parenting Blog Awards. I was also voted Best Writer at the same event.
Imagine Write Inspire Group and Elaine Meyler
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