Writing is my outlet. I always knew it was something I did when I felt like I had no other way of expressing myself or when I felt like I wasn’t achieving something. Achieving is my way of coping, but that’s a whole other story.
It’s difficult to summarise what writing means to me. I now know that it’s something within me that drives me forward. It gives me great satisfaction when I tell a story or share an experience with other people. However, it has taken me a while to get here. I have dabbled into, and out of, the world of writing since I was a child. I won a writing competition when I was about seven. Coming third in all of Ireland was a moment which was surreal, especially as this would have been my first attempt at writing in a competitive environment. Although I wouldn’t have called it an attempt at the time. I was simply entering because I enjoyed hand-writing and had a flair for it. As I got older and entered secondary school, I continued to enjoy writing. English was always my best subject and I loved all aspects from poetry to essay writing. I think it was around the age of seventeen or eighteen that I realised my favourite form of writing was autobiographical. It’s the form of writing that comes most naturally to me.
Writing heavily impacted my decisions going forward. It pushed me to choose a potential career in journalism, which influenced my university course choice, which led me to Limerick. This in turn resulted in me being published in local newspapers in Cork and various websites. Being in Limerick exposed me to a whole other world of people outside my usual comfort zone. It inspired me to travel, continue to write in the form of keeping a journal and eventually starting a blog. Both of these overlapped and I can’t quite recall which came first, but they are both things I have continued to do since.
I don’t have one set way of how I approach writing. I know that writing from my own experience is certainly the form of writing that I most enjoy. It tends to flow much more easily for me when I can draw on my own memories and emotions. My goal when I do this is to convey as clearly as possible to others the impact an event can have on your life and hope that it will give an insight for others to understand me better. Furthermore, I would hope that others find they can relate to my writing and use it to benefit themselves.
I would say that I have achieved some of my writing goals but by no means have I reached them all. To be honest, I think it has taken me up until this point in life to truly recognise how important writing is to me. With this, I feel I will have a new respect for it and what it has done for me, be more disciplined in creating the time to do it and in turn will hopefully find that I reach my full potential with it.
Sometimes speaking what you truly feel can be the most difficult thing in the world. Writing allows you say everything you need to say, whether it’s good, bad, or ugly. It’s enables you to express yourself in your rawest form and evoke your deepest emotions. Subconsciously, writing has led me to where I am today and although that has not always been clear, I now realise it’s a powerful outlet for me that can no longer be ignored.
(c) Louise O’Sullivan