Monday, 2 December 2013

Resurrected Beginnings

These innocuous scraps represent one of my 'early' periods. It's a poem, published in Icarus, a very long time ago (with one of Eavan Boland's on the reverse!). I rediscovered it while sorting through the last of the packing boxes from our 2010 move, but already lost in piles of folders for many years before that. Also rediscovered was a folder full of notes from a course I took in the Irish Writers' Centre with Eilis Ni Dhuibhne a mere eleven years ago. There were even a couple of decent stories in there which I had forgotten writing.

Two false starts, more than a decade between them. With the first, I wanted to be a poet, and my influences were (alarmingly) Charles Bukowski, and the Beats. It was never going to end well. With the second, I had a six month old and a three year old, which explains the amnesia which surrounds the entire course; at that critical, neophyte stage of becoming a writer, I was a tad distracted. [...though I did write my first bad novel at this stage, about a distracted mother of two young children.]

As someone who is never going to grace the pages of 30 Under 30, or 40 under 40, or, let's face it, if these editors don't bite soon... Well, let's not go there... I have come to realise that becoming a writer is a lot to do with being at the right stage of life and having the right conditions, and when these two don't come along, and unless you're a single, trust-fund kid, they won't, it's about having the chutzpah and the tenacity to ignore both and just go for it. And more importantly, to keep going for it. If I'd kept going all those years ago just think, I could be right in the middle of my mid-career novelist crisis by now.

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