From Gremlins to Writers

Finding the right creative journey

An eerie greenish hue, sliced through the freezing sheets of rain, that were lashing down from the night sky.  Fast moving figures in high viz jackets, wriggled around the astro turf, like Day-glo painted worms. I shuddered, still wrapped inside the cosiness of the car interior, it did not look inviting to step outside. Reluctantly, I jumped out, pulling my hat down over my ears, running, splashing through the growing puddles, I was soon in the entrance hall. The butterflies played havoc in my stomach, as I stood in reception. OMG! What am I doing here? The question was wrecking my head, this was way out of my comfort zone.

A friendly male voice, offered some help with directions, as I stared at the list of classes on front of me, disrupting the self-doubting gremlin in my head. With a muttered word of thanks ,off I took, down a number of corridors, renewed determination driving me on with every step. Pushing  open the door to room twenty, a pleasant surprize was in store, as the unusual hexagon shaped space, due to play host to my group that evening, was actually the library. With a neediness and deep passion for books, the surroundings were a true comfort to me. A reminder to myself ,that I just had to be here, this anxiety as necessary as oxygen.

Our new tutor arrived, with a beautiful smile, portraying a gentle confidence and obvious enthusiasm, she quickly organised our tables and chairs, proceeding to introduce herself and putting us at ease.

 “You are all very welcome here this evening. My name is Carolann Copland, teacher and founder of Carousel Creates writers centre.  I have been a teacher for fourteen years now and currently teach creative writing to five year olds.”  Wow I thought, glancing around the table at our eager adult faces ,that’s a big jump!

“Writing is such a fundamental part of my life, that I have to rise at 6.30am and get a couple of hours done before I arrive in class. This is how I managed to write my published novel, “Summer Triangle”. My genre is adult popular fiction.” Caraolann continued. Now I was relieved and excited, to be in the presence of an actual author, awesome. This is going grand after all.

But then that darned gremlin kicked me right in the gut again, as Carolann not only invited us all to introduce ourselves, but also to state why we want to write. Yikes! As each person spoke, it soon became apparent, that this was a comfortable group of people to be around. Nothing to worry about. A deep breath, helped me to relax and see the gremlin off again, this time for good. I am in the right place for me right now, as right as breathing, my spirit soars. Goodbye Gremlin ,here we are parting company, for good this time, my inner voice was adamant.

Carolanns knowledable  voice pulled me back into the now, as she declared that from this very minute, we were all writers in this room. What an exciting prospect, but where will I start, I pondered, as she coaxed us to “Free write “ for ten minutes. I nervously chewed the top of my pen, what do I do now, where do I start, my mind desperately trying to focus. Just at this precise moment, Carolann spoke “I have often heard people speak of writers block, but to me, blank pages are so exciting, not daunting.  Think about the endless possibilities of adventure yet to come, that they offer.” At this point, I’m sure it was plain to see, the smile that crept across my face, as I sat up straight on my chair, feeling exhilarated by the challenge I craved to meet.

Now it is the 24th of March and I am completely gutted that our eight weeks of creative writing classes have come to an end. How could this be?  I am devastated, those weeks have simply flown past. Throughout those classes, my blossoming compatriots have read out their self scribed words, each beautiful and unique to their author. But not me, I have shied away, afraid that I may bear my soul for all to see. Now, now I know that the jumble of words, each scenario imagined in my head, has sheltered there for long enough. It is time for exposure, show and tell, because this is where it started, but it is a long way back from the finish line. For in this very college, on a dismal, cold ,wet night in January 2014,  “Knocklyon Writers Group”, was born and long may we continue to share, support and enjoy in each other the craft that has claimed us for it’s own.


Thank you Carolann and all of my fellow group member’s, I am very much looking forward to our continued journey together.

 Anne-Marie Hollowed- Writer.