I was sitting there, writing, minding my own business – when this book appeared!

This is my entry into the writing contest “You are a Writer” being held on Bryan Hutchinson’s website Positive Writer

Last night I sat in the offices of Emu Ink with its founder Emer Cleary, having a conversation about my self-publishing project. For a couple of weeks I’d had a question rolling around in my head but had been too afraid to ask. Last night, I just went for it.

“You wouldn’t let me do this if the stories were rubbish would you?”

I had to ask her – I couldn’t bear the constant inner monologue anymore….

This woman has business to run and cannot afford to turn down clients, but surely she has a reputation to uphold. She can’t just put her name to any old scribblings… can she? I’ve only been doing this for a year. Don’t I have to ‘serve my time’? I’m indulging myself by barging past the patient folk who are waiting to be discovered – pushing my way to the front of the queue like a literary version of Verruca Salts.
I want a booooook, I want a no-vel…
I want to hang with the famous and arty; have twenty launch parties,
Give it to me now! 

(Yes my inner monologue is actually a musical! How COOL is that!? 😀 )

Emer was very encouraging and (of course) does take the reputation of her company seriously. She reassured me that the stories are good and that in her professional opinion, the book is worth publishing.

But I’m still waiting for ‘someone in charge’ to tell me I’m not allowed to do this…

Thinking about it again today, I was reassured by one thought.

amo is a writerI didn’t start this to be published.

I didn’t start writing, to write a book. I started writing cos it felt like the most natural thing in the world to do. For about 5 years it was non fiction, then I started to make stuff up and once I started I couldn’t stop. The stories just keep coming. There are the writer’s block days, and the editing headaches, and crises of confidence and all that; but now that I’ve started I can’t stop writing stories.

If they happen to be good, if they happen to be liked, if they happen to be popular – well then fantastic.
I won’t complain.

But I write cos… erm,… well… I am a writer.

Now if you’ll excuse me… I have a golden ticket to find.


From Competition to Publication – what a year!

I was very excited to turn 40 last year. I planned my party in my head for months and when I got up to sing with The Cure tribute band (arranged for me by my nephews) and then danced the night away to 80s music surrounded by friends and family – well it was just fab 🙂 I didn’t realise though, that at 40 my writing life would really begin!

The Curezins cropped
Love these cats! 🙂

Just over a year ago I wrote my first piece of fiction. Well, it was the first one since writing essays in school, and very quickly it became something I loved to do. I’ve been blogging and writing for VOX Magazine for a few years now, but fiction was new to me and in some ways it was like starting again. It was around that time that I had the moment…

‘THIS… THIS right here… THIS is what I’m supposed to do with my life,’ 

I couldn’t help myself when it came to writing and the more I delved into it the more compelled I felt to find somewhere I could go, or something I could do, to find out more. I saw a tweet from writing.ie about a one-day workshop in Carousel Creates, a dedicated writers’ centre based in the Dublin Mountains. It promised inspiring views, plenty of coffee and lots of quiet time to write, as well as time to talk to the organiser. After a chat with my beloved, we agreed that I should go, as it seemed that this would be a good opportunity to ‘test the waters’. While I was booking my place on the one-day retreat I saw a competition to win a two-day retreat. A 300-word piece entitled ‘I am a Writer’ was required for entry and as I had just had that self-same epiphany it was an easy task!
And I won the competition! 🙂

carousel view 2
The view I have come to love

Carousel Creates became a regular haunt for me and founder Carolann has become an editor, teacher and dear friend. A year later and I’ve met so many more fantastic people who have encouraged and inspired me, including popular authors like Louise Phillips and Catherine Dunne who have read my stuff and given me the courage and confidence to push on. Storyteller extraordinaire Catherine Brophy, and her workshops, taught me how to take a memory and make it a story; and every day it seems is just another exciting learning curve for me.
I love it!

Over the year I’ve joined writing.ie (as an emerging writer member) and two writing groups as well as the ASMSG. I’m also in the middle of Jeff Goins’ Tribe Writers course which has set me in a vast community of writers of all ages and stages. Already Jeff’s advice is changing my writing and my attitude to it, for the better. I’ve found lots of fab Twitter pals and Facebook friends and I relish the fact that the writing community on social media is fantastic!

This past year has changed me. It’s given me more confidence in my writing and the network I have built around me has been paramount in my decision now to take a leap of faith – I’m bringing out a book!

I’ve decided to self-publish an anthology of short stories and in doing this I’m excited to be signing up with the team at Emu Ink who are already on the case, and we are looking towards October for publication in both printed and e-book version! Over the coming days various short stories will be taken down from my blog in preparation for publication but there are also some brand new stories that have never been available, set for the book – I can’t wait to share them with you.

I want to thank you all for reading and sharing and tweeting and encouraging me with my writing, and there’s plenty more where that came from!

I also want to thank God – He is my ultimate inspiration.
Lord unless you build this house, I am building it in vain. (from Psalm 127)