If you’re reading this then the chances are you are a writer. But it takes courage and determination for us to hold a hand up to answer that question with a confident and resounding YES!
Recently Carousel Creates held their Winter Writers’ Competition. The writer had to pen three hundred words entitled… ‘I AM A WRITER.’
Here are the three very individual winning entries by Hazel Gaynor, John Mc Carthy, and Grace Tierney
‘I AM A WRITER’
Ahead, I see only the dazzling, brilliant white of unexplored terrain; virgin, clear and crisp. I blink and stare; wait for my eyes to adjust in the pre-dawn light. Then I begin.
Step by tentative step, I traverse the page, conscious, always, of the notorious Cliffs of Self Doubt which stand ominously to my left. I press on, ignoring the endless chatter from the River of Clichés which runs alongside me. I step confidently over the Boulders of Poor Dialogue which lie straight ahead. Somehow, I circumnavigate all these obstacles, my characters leading the way, until we reach a fork in the road and they stop.
‘Which way now?’ I cry, urgently. ‘Which way?’
They turn to me. ‘We don’t know,’ they shrug. ‘It’s up to you.’
It’s up to me.
I hesitate, uncertain which direction to take; unsure of my footing on either of the roads ahead. I gaze hopefully up at the clouds above, willing them to help me. And then it comes.
A single, fragile flake of pure inspiration drifts gently down and settles on my hand; the thrilling sensation of idea wonderful against my skin.
Then, more delicate flakes settle all around me, each one a word, a sentence, a perfect paragraph.
I turn to my left. ‘This way,’ I cry. ‘Quickly, it’s this way!’
We run together, my characters and I, the words tumbling through my mind, my frozen fingers reaching out to grasp them before they disappear forever.
Sometimes, I am an Arctic explorer crossing a barren wilderness. Sometimes, I am a passenger scrambling towards the last lifeboat on the Titanic. Sometimes, I am a wretched little girl, clutching a bunch of violets on the filthy streets of Victorian London.
Today, I am all of these things.
Today, I am a writer.
BY HAZEL GAYNOR
‘I AM A WRITER’
On a wet, windy afternoon, an elderly woman got on the 54a bus in Pearse Street, weighed down with a straw bag that bulged at the seams.
Wrapped up against the elements, her ubiquitous clear plastic tie on hat, showcased her recent shampoo and set.
Nodding and mouthing “Dere y’are’” to passengers of a similar age, she made her way towards the back. As the bus shuddered away from the stop, she fell into a seat beside a young man who was furiously writing and didn’t even notice her.
She couldn’t contain her curiosity as she twisted her head trying to see what he was recording. As he felt her eyes boring into him, he looked around as she asked,
“What ye doing love, with the pen and paper and all the scribbling ?“
His face became animated as he replied,
“I inscribe, I draft, I draw up, I jot down, I commit to paper, I compose, I create, I put down in black and white, I’m a man of letters”, he declared without drawing breath, as a look of utter confusion crossed her face.
“I’m a wordsmith”, he continued without missing a beat, “I spill ink, I put pen to paper, I describe, I set forth, I touch upon, I relate, I recount, I portray, I detail…….”
“Jaysus love,” she exclaimed, butting in, “I didn’t want your life story, I just asked what you were doin’?”
“I am a writer”, he said proudly.
“Are ye love”, she replied, “dat’s nice, but here’s some advice, get to the point without all the waffle.”
As he sat there speechless, she rang the bell and got up for her stop.
“Dere,” she said to herself, laughing, “I learned him and all his fancy talk, man of letters, me eye! ”
BY JOHN MC CARTHY
‘I AM A WRITER’
Real life turns dramatic your first thought is “How would my heroine cope with this?”
You’ve got to get in your word count before even considering trivialities like brushing your teeth, feeding the kids, or walking the dog.
You communicate via code – MS, SAE, and SASE.
You stalk the postman every morning and not because he’s cute and Italian.
All social invitations are run past your Deadline Diary before acceptance.
Rescuing your writing notebook, laptop, or clips file would be your first thought in a fire.
Rejection letters wallpaper your downstairs bathroom.
You daydream about your author interview on The Late Late Show, or winning the Man Booker.
A character won’t act as you wish is more interesting than any soap-opera on TV.
You position your writing desk is the most important interior design decision in your home.
To submit your masterpiece to is a bigger decision than your C.A.O. application.
To get published keeps you awake at night.
You eavesdrop on trains for dialogue.
You obsess over the correct usage of a semi-colon.
You collect unusual words rather than designer handbags.
You accuse your nine year old son of Crimes Against Fiction for ending his English story with the words “Then he woke up and it was all a dream.”
Scrabble is your favourite board game.
You fret about your mother reading your sex scenes.
You believe word-sprinting should be in the next Olympic Games.
Your To Be Read Pile crushes you when it topples from the bedside table.
You are a writer.
BY GRACE TIERNEY
Congratulations to all three for holding up their hand and saying it out loud!
We’re looking forward to seeing them all at Carousel Writers’ Centre to enjoy their prizes!
ARE YOU A WRITER TOO? G’wan! Put your hand up!
And say… YES I AM!