‘Writing is the part of you that others don’t really see’.

During a wonderful night out with my best friend of nine years, she came out with quite an unusual statement. Now, while our conversations are generally pretty mad anyway (spluttering with inside jokes, laughter and random digressions), this one contained a remarkably deep insight.

“When I read your writing, it sounds like it’s coming from a part of you that I don’t often see,” she said.

This is coming from someone who has grown up with me for almost a decade: from eleven-year-old kids in Irish College, to (cough, cough) agonising over our secondary school exams, to being vehicle-owning college students halfway through our undergraduate degrees. We have giggled together, we have supported each other, and, most of all, we have seen each other through the dark times, when it seemed like the world had stopped turning. She knows me better than almost anyone.

She’s well used to my book obsession, journalistic ambitions, and fondness for correct spelling and grammar, but for her to say that she doesn’t often hear my writing voice, I found a bit surprising.

Writing has always been my passion, and it was many years before I met Elaine. I can’t imagine my life without it. The love of literature is completely ingrained in me. Surely, if my best friend read my writing, she would hear my familiar tones, my stubborn opinions, and my innermost thoughts ringing out through my words?

Well, not exactly. Despite its huge importance and prominence in my life, writing is still only a part of me. Elaine knows I am a writer, but she doesn’t know my creative voice, because it’s not the one I use aloud. It drives me, but it doesn’t define me. It’s a small but essential piece of me, hiding shyly at the back of my mind, waiting for the moment it can let loose on a blank page. It’s always within me, whether it’s heard or not; like she said, it’s the part of me that others don’t really see.

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4 thoughts on “‘Writing is the part of you that others don’t really see’.

  1. Leona Wisoker says:

    That is an interesting insight. I think that’s common for a lot of writers, though; I’ve had friends comment that I look like such a nice person, it’s hard to believe the gritty emotional tortures my characters go through actually come from my mind alone… 🙂

    I think writing taps into a part of yourself that you don’t necessarily want the world to see. Expressing that part of you is the fuel for your writing; if you were able to put that out for public view, there would be no reason to write. So perhaps it’s a good thing, for a creative person, to have a hidden voice… it’s something to think about.

    • Marése O'Sullivan says:

      Thanks for your comment, Leona! Yes, it’s surprising how demure and shy authors can come up with epic battle sequences and vicious antagonists! 🙂 Guess writing helps us to unleash our inner craziness! 🙂
      I agree with you that having a hidden creative voice is a positive. Writing, for the most part, is a solitary journey, and it’s important that we can exercise our unique writer’s voice when we need to.

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