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A Voice Released




On the 29th of August 2009, at the age of 39-going-on-40, I wrote my first story in 23 years.





I wrote it quickly as a challenge to come up with a story in a limited time from the prompt word “shoes” and it was also my first ever blog post.

I did it again the next day with the word “lemon” and then the next day with the word “mist”.

I didn’t set these stories out correctly, I didn’t edit them. I didn’t really know all the rules about layout. But people read them and enjoyed them and – as the old saying goes – something clicked.
(If you’re interested, look back to the archives for August 2009)

I felt my pulse race. I felt the buzz of childhood Christmases and I felt the high of holding a new baby after giving birth. Letting my imagination loose, arranging and rearranging words, creating and freeing a bundle of thoughts in my brain and making them into a thing, some thing that I had made – oh, bliss…. The whole beginning-to-end process was what had been missing from my life!

I felt as if I was running down a grassy slope with my arms wide, screaming, “Yes, story-writing, take me, take me! I’m alive, I’m alive!”




The way I felt before I opened my word processor and released that first flood of words was like carrying a big heavy rock around my neck for years marked “unfulfilled” . Now suddenly I could take it off and put it to one side. To describe what has happened to me, my head, my self-esteem, sense of self, confidence in my own opinions, etc, etc, etc, in the last year and a half since “shoes” would take pages and pages.

For the last 18 months, I have called my blog “A Creative Writing Journey”. It was to be about me and my journey from a beginner on a soon to start Open University creative writing course and would follow my progress.

But that’s not how it worked out. I was a student, yes and I wrote about the course a bit. But what happened was deeper than that.

I became a writer. A real, proper, writing-for-my life writer. I now think I was always a writer-in-waiting.

I started writing down my thoughts about being a writer, a parent, a member of the human race and gradually stopped shying away from my deep-seated and until then well-hidden values and beliefs. I had been scared of myself, worried that my environmental, socialist leanings would alienate me. Worried that my honesty about struggling with daily life would make me look self-obsessed or in need of medical attention. And I was scared that my creative/fictional ideas wouldn’t be good enough to get me a writer’s badge.

I bravely took the thoughts and concerns that were in my head and I made them into blog posts. Sometimes straightforward rants, sometimes humorous parodies and sometimes short stories with obvious or hidden messages depending on the mood. I now starve, freeze and isolate myself to concentrate on what I am working on or thinking about. Sometimes I’m in pain and I don’t care.
Through this recent writing I have spoken the words I couldn’t speak for years, voiced the concerns about my fellow human beings that I have held close for years and released the creative flow that has been dammed for years.
I have worn away the edges of the stick of rock that is me and found that it has WRITER written right through the middle of it. Whichever way life bites me now I will always be a writer.

So today it dawned on me that my blog is no longer a creative writing journey. It is a website dedicated to sharing my thoughts and my fiction. It is a platform for my voice. My opinionated voice, my writer’s voice and the voices of my characters who – based on my observations of life – have a right to be heard.
I am releasing voices. I am not going on a “journey” (!)

So the new name for my site is A Voice Released. It’s about me and it’s about them.

If you don’t like it…

23 Comments Post a comment
  1. “I became a writer. A real, proper, writing-for-my life writer. I now think I was always a writer-in-waiting. ” Never a truer word spoken. Yay, congrats on the evolution.

    marc nash

    Like

    10/02/2011
  2. Love this. It’s such a positive affirmation of your transformation and belief in yourself as a writer. Looking forward to watching you in full flight now you’re released – it’s going to be exciting.

    Like

    10/02/2011
  3. Jenny Kline #

    Don’t ever stop. I mean it.

    Like

    10/02/2011
  4. Love this — great look for your blog.

    Like

    10/02/2011
  5. Great new blog title. And well done on reaching this watershed. How exciting! Let’s hear those voices shout. Onwards and upwards.

    Like

    10/02/2011
  6. You found your way home, Rachel. Well done, lovely read.

    Like

    10/02/2011
  7. Fab post Rachel, and so great to hear you recognising your talent. You’re a great writer and you deserve much success.

    Like

    10/02/2011
  8. An inspirational post. Congratulations on releasing the voices!

    Like

    10/02/2011
  9. Your blog is inspiring to me. You are really prolific and the output so varied and consistently good. I am sure your work is better than many of the students on our MA. I live in Ilfracombe (when I’m not doing an MA!). If you ever want to compare notes/workshop writing for publication, let me know, I’m studying getting published this semester. Keep up the good work.

    Like

    10/02/2011
    • Reb, thank you for very uplifting comments. I am sitting here with a big grin on my face 🙂

      Like

      11/02/2011
  10. What a wonderful feel good post 🙂 Nice to see your profile on the Contemporary Women Writer’s Club site. Here’s to many happy years of writing.

    Like

    15/02/2011
    • Thanks, Denyse. Hope to make my CWWC profile a bit more interesting by the end of the year… 🙂

      Like

      15/02/2011
  11. Hi Rachel,

    I really identify with that feeling running down a grassy slope with arms open wide. It’s exactly how I feel when I write. Keep up the good work.

    Best regards

    Talia

    Like

    15/04/2012
    • Thanks, Talia. So sorry it’s taken me 5 days to find this comment! It’s lovely finding that something that maybe you’ve been looking for all your life, isn’t it?

      Like

      20/04/2012
      • Yes it is Rachel. In my case its like popping a champagne cork. Keep up the good work in allowing other emerging writers to share their voices.

        Best regards

        Talia.

        Like

        20/04/2012

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