Hello, World! This is Emma
Where to start?
Once upon a time there was a young girl who spent weekends lying on her bed with a notebook and pen, scribbling silly little stories. She loved Creative Writing class at primary school and once wrote a story about an alien who liked to drink sour milk and human blood (highly imaginative or slightly disturbing? I can’t decide). One Christmas her parents bought her a typewriter and so she’d clatter her thoughts down that way. Then came high school and computers and a summer spent writing a god-awful novel that is, to this day, hidden in a blue folder under her bed. And then came university and the choice to study Creative Writing and the incessant need to own at least six notebooks and carry them around in case the ever-elusive muse might strike an imaginative chord her way. After five years of university education, she left her university town with a broken heart and an empty notebook, returned to her parents and began her search for a dream job/PhD and an idea for a novel demanding to be put onto paper.
And that brings us up to date!
I still have my first notebooks hidden up the loft. They’re covered in Girl Talk magazine stickers, their pages littered in my ever-evolving scrawl. There are stories of the fictional adventures of ‘E+L’ aka me and my younger cousin, Laura. There are stories of kids much like myself at the time. And then there are the stories that have paved the way for my writing today: those set in the past.
At high school, while my English teacher was handing back ghost stories we had written, she said: ‘Emma, your stories are always set in the past.’ It is true. I blame my mother for handing me her ‘mum-lit’ novels aka romantic sagas set in the Victorian Era or in the backdrop of World War Two to read when I was a teen. But I should also thank her for it as it has led me to the writerly path I find myself on now. It also spurred on my interest (some might say obsession) in history particularly World War Two.
I mostly write short stories about women from history but I am branching out (slowly!) I like the fact that I can give women condemned to the dregs of history a voice with my writing. I like the notion that there are two-sides to every story: that beneath the media’s representations and what is written in the history books, lies the possibility for a great story that hints at the truth. I think that pretty much sums up why I write.
I feel that I have been on somewhat of a bumpy ride with my writing over the past two years. I’ve recently finished an MA in Creative Writing and was lucky enough to have several wonderful tutors who made me re-think my entire writing process. I’ve learned that writing consists mainly of drafting and re-drafting. I’ve learned that writer’s block is a term I use to hide behind when my brain is wandering off without a biro and notebook and I’m too lazy to call it back.
And so I find myself here, lucky enough to have been given an opportunity to share my views on writing and creativity and looking for the next challenge for my writerly self.
It is lovely to ‘meet’ you. I hope you will enjoy reading the posts of a quirky, often frustrated but mostly optimistic, writer. I hope my blogs provide you with a pinch of imagination and a sprinkle of wit to help you through your writerly day.