Friday, August 14, 2015

Away with the faries

Today I though I would discuss why I have gravitated towards becoming a writer and entered the daunting world of Authordom. The truth is that when I met up with long lost friends, family members who have taken diverging paths to mine, or let out the “secret” to those I haven’t told yet, their immediate response was “Really?” I can’t blame them for their skepticism, I was a terrible student at school and couldn’t spell to save my life, still can’t really. But there has always been one thing that I was exceptionally good at and that was daydreaming, this they could not deny. I could daydream while taking notes in class, I could daydream as a livid, sour-faced nun screamed at me, I could even daydream during a daydream. For that reason my mother would often accuse me of “being away with the fairies”. She was right, I was away with the fairies for the vast majority of my childhood.

Growing up the middle child of seven, and relishing the middle child syndrome, it was easy to be overlooked. This gave me more than ample time to indulge my love of daydreaming. I would, on a daily basis, be whisked off into the depths of a frozen landscape into a city made of ice, or fly to the very edges of the stratosphere in a twenty winged contraption of my own invention. I loved my daydreaming, it was certainly more entertaining and vivid than the world surrounding me – not that it was the world’s fault, it just couldn’t compete with my imagination. But practically won out in the end. Exams barreled towards me, no matter how many raging ogres I threw at it. Then came college. Upon the advice of career guidance councilor I met once in my life, I began a four year Engineering degree. I lasted one year, finding out very quickly that I was not remotely interested, motivated or inclined to become an Engineer. Then came my lost years. I toyed with different careers, Secretary, Veterinary Nursing, Health Care Assistant, but none of them fit. There was no doubt that I could do the jobs and I met many wonderful people along the way, but again none were right. No one said that to be a good writer you had to have a college degree, but that’s what I assumed. Like many others, I believed that a new author couldn’t get published without some prior publishing success or some kind of qualification that would set them above the other tens of thousands of people fighting for the same slot in a Literary Agents book. So I didn’t try.

It wasn’t until I moved from Ireland to the USA and was unable to work… a longer story… that I had enough free time to do something with my imagination. So I typed. My fingers got faster, my childhood imagination sprung to life once again and a soaring satisfaction in my innards told me that I was home. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had found what I was meant to do, whether I ever got published or not. This drive, this love of my daydreaming is what I believe makes a writer. But it was nearly lost to the daily drudgery of life and responsibilities. Quoting the infallible, and late, Tom Robbins, Those who shun the whimsy of things will experience rigor mortise before death.” So now that I have heard the fairies calling my name once again, I am committed to keeping one sitting on my shoulder at all times – and she tells me the most outrageous things.