Monday, 26 August 2013

Tell Your Own Story

Writing, A Therapeutic Remedy, Grace O’Reilly

Article by Grace O'Reilly ©.
Posted in the Magazine (Tell Your Own Story: ).
There are so many types of writing, reviews, and pieces like this on a certain theme, travel reviews, poems, short stories, novels and children’s stories. Some are true, some are fiction, some happy and some not at all, some are funny and some are just plain old fact.
I got into creative writing when I was in second class at the age of 8. My teacher at the time Mrs McCabe showed me that I was good at it and encouraged me. For that I will be eternally grateful. I wasn’t an extremely academic child, I wasn’t lazy and I didn’t have a condition like dyslexia, school just wasn’t for me, for so many reasons. I was badly bullied in both primary and secondary school although the scars I have today mainly formed from secondary school.
I liked drama too when I was younger. Dry Rain, Gladys Sheehan, and Backstage Academy were just some of the places where I did plays and shows. Like writing, (at first), it was an escape route. Ironically enough though drama groups were one of the places I found my dearest oldest and truest friends because as time went by I leaned to like myself and opened up and people seemed to like me for who I was unlike in school. Now I am learning to love myself with the aid of my best friend, my husband.
A lot of my poems are sad when I read back on them. I am 28 now and just two months back into writing and doing so well. I feel happier and more confident. I did lots of writing between 8 and 19 and then I stopped for some reason. I don’t know why, and am sorry that I did. But when I started to have really bad nightmares, my husband suggested I write them down, and it helped. I remembered my love and passion for writing and started to write stories, poems, reviews etc. This was in June. I had four poems in ‘The Wexford Echo’ papers last week, a travel review in ‘U Magazine’ on Monday, a poem in ‘Irish Parent Magazine’ last year and one in the same magazine in October.I was also longlisted for the Penguin/RTE Guide Short Story competition and attended their workshop day in Dublin.
I changed schools due to the bullying in secondary school and my English teacher made me write a novel as part of the transition year project. I got as far as the 4th chapter and couldn’t continue as my heart ached with every word I wrote. 2 weeks ago, after 11 years in a black ring binder I pulled it out of the dusty box and started to read it and cry as did my husband. Some of it was fiction but 95 per cent truth. I am now going to finish it and try to get it published and it will give that 15 year old Grace the control over her life I didn’t have them and the chance to be free of it forever and the horrendous dreams I still have now.
My worst fear is that my daughter comes home and tells me she is being bullied because that would really break my heart. I am hoping that in having my book published it will make other victims of bullying see that they are not alone and that there is hope and may perhaps act as an eye opener for any bullies out there as to how in ten years time you may not even remember the person who you ridiculed in a hallway in front of 100 other students but that it has affected the victim forever. Even if my novel doesn’t get published it is therapeutic for me and will give me a sense of closure.
When I write it is like having somebody to talk to. I can say in writing exactly what is happening to me, to others or just in general and express how I am feeling in words. A diary is like a keepsake of a first kiss for instance you may want to cherish and chuckle over with your spouse when you are 70 years old over a glass of wine. Diaries are a nice thing to have as are journals. I have a pregnancy journal and a baby’s first year journal which I have in a big box for my 18 month old daughter Olivia.
Writing is a huge part of who I am and is my special place to go.