Annette Bryan crossed her path with Carousel earlier this year. What a joy it was to meet her, work with her and follow her writing journey this far. Annette is an integral part of our Writers’ Centre and an example of what we hope to achieve. Here she tells us a little about what returning to writing means to her.
After a lot of searching, I discovered Carousel Writers Café in the Dublin Mountains. Even though I have been writing since I was a child, I didn’t consider myself a writer because none of my pieces were published. I was a bit apprehensive when I picked up the phone to ring but was immediately put at ease by Carolann who is the facilitator of Carousel.
She invited me to the Writers Café that was held on Wednesdays. While driving up to the house in the mountains, I passed colourful hedgerow and tall old trees that met in parts to form an arch. I saw cows grazing in one field and horses wildly galloping around in another. It was hard to believe I was only ten minutes form my home in Templeogue.
I arrived up to Carousel Writers Centre and had to stand back to take in the view. It was magnificent. There was Dublin at its best; my city; where I was born and reared. Standing there as proud as punch with the sun lighting it up in all its glory. I felt at home immediately.
I learned over a cuppa what different people were writing about. One writer had just been published by a magazine, another was in the process of writing a children’s book and a third was about to self publish her book. Here I was amongst these very talented people, not knowing what I wanted to write. I just knew I wanted to write and I hoped someday to write a book. But what kind? I hadn’t a clue.
This was the first time I was introduced to ‘free writing’ and I didn’t really know what it meant. It is quite simple. You just put down on paper what ever comes into your head. The first thing I could think of was ‘what am I doing here’? So I duly wrote what came into my head, and it wasn’t long before things started to kick in. My pen kept moving across the page. It was as though the flood gates of my mind had opened. The satisfaction I got at being in touch with my writing skill again was electrifying. The session was over before I knew it and I left feeling that this is where I wanted to be and this is definitely what I wanted to do. I actually felt confident enough to send one of my poems into the Echo newspaper poet’s corner and they published it in their next addition along with my biography.
I realised that the only way to get people interested in my writing was by putting it out there. Believe me the first step is the hardest but it’s worth it. The only thing you must prepare for is rejection but that’s all part and parcel of writing.
After some time attending the Writers’ Café, I enjoyed doing the eight week workshop with Carolann. It was great value and it has set me on the road to writing my first children’s book. The end of term evening where everyone was invited to read a piece of their work was fascinating. Someone from each section of Carousel read a piece, starting with the children, then teenagers, then beginners and last but by no means least, the published writers. It was such a joy to meet with the very talented crime writer Louise Phillips who gives a lot of her time, encouraging emerging writers like myself.
I look forward to going back in September and would encourage anyone with an interest in writing to follow their dream. Who knows where it could lead.
Carousel Writers’ Centre is the first step for many aspiring writers who hope to begin or return to writing.
Read about Niamh Roche’s Carousel journey here: http://carouselcreates.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/open-the-door-to-writing/
For more details of our writers’ workshops see: http://www.carousel-creates.com/#/adult-workshops/4562092994
For more details of our Writers’ Café see: http://www.carousel-creates.com/#/writers-cafe/4569818073