Catharine writes :
Time after time, when I put the question ”How do you get what is in your head down on paper” the person I am talking to comes up with a genuinely interesting fresh response. Sometimes it is a rather puzzled murmur. ‘Oh you know…’ sometimes it is a vivid description of how a writing project begun and brought to a conclusion. A four year old gave me her poem. My schoolfriend, Katherine Tyrell, immediately replied ‘if it doesn’t work, don’t get your knickers in a twist!’
Lets’ be clear – this question about writing was not my idea. It was put to me by a fifteen year old student from Northern Ireland,sitting with a group of about eight fellow students in the lobby of Concordia University, here in Montreal. These students had all come out to Canada on a two month programme with Wider Horizons. The conversation was about my book Polly of Bridgewater Farm: an unknown Irish story. Someone asked if I was going to do a sequel. Then this young woman sitting beside me sprang to life, “What I want to know” she said firmly and formulated a question we’ve all been talking about ever since in conversations and in this Tuesday blog.
This question was right up Neil’s alley – he began writing when he was nine years old. I am a late bloomer, as you’ll see if I ever put up some of my earlier efforts.
What would you say to this young woman?
Have you ever tried to write and failed?
Do you have something half-completed?
Do you have something tucked away in a drawer that no one has ever seen?
Were you encouraged or discouraged by your teachers?