Pressure is a funny thing. No matter where you are, no matter what you do it’s hard not to see it. Whenever you are a corner forward scoring the winning point in Pairc Ui Rinn or stepping up onto the stage in Cyprus Avenue in front of a sold out crowd; it’s hard not to feel it. Some of us thrive under it, to propel ourselves to new distances and find bouts of energy that we never thought possible while some of us cower under it, to shrivel up and wince at the thought of moving.
I know I don’t play sports (I did win a South Munster Cross Country medal!) or tune a guitar, or even know how to sing, but still in fact forever, pressure is something which I starting to become far too friendly with. It could be Thursday night and the lads are texting me in the group chat to head out for a few quite ones or a Saturday night down out with St. Johns trying to get something ready in the back of the ambulance, or even our own successes and passions weighing us down.
As most people know, I love to write. While most of my friends play hurling or football or drama and dance; I spend my afternoons and days staring at a blank document watching the cursor blink and flicker at me, as if taunting and teasing you to do something. Other days could be different, I’d spend the whole day planning and constructing some great masterpiece; only to go home that night and stare at the plans and wreck my brain for the missing piece; the little ingredient which’ll make the whole thing gel and blend together.
Even out of the most little victories comes an enormous pressure. For as long as I can remember I’ve had a love of writing. As most of you know, I grew up with my Dad telling people stories of far off lands (The Lebanon) and the daily misadventures of Fearanree, and since I first began to form some understanding of the hidden meanings, truths and jokes, all I wanted to be was a storyteller. The feeling that a person read what you wrote, took it to heart and could have actually made a different always intrigued me. To have five or six people eating out of your hand; suckling on every detail is something I’ve wanted before I could even spell my name. In January this year I started this blog, in March I started writing for Cork City FC, in June I had two poems published and throughout July and August I had the odd piece in the Echo and the Pundit Arena while I anxiously awaited my results. In that space of time; I’ve gotten over my confidence issues with writing, had hundreds of views and reads, having my phone hopping with relatives telling me news and compliments and my friends shaking my hand and wishing me a job well done. Deep down; I became the person I wanted to be since I was three years old.
Did I wake up each morning saying to myself, “Life is good?” No. Do I sit for hours and hours at my laptop writing away now thinking that I’m the next Neil Gaiman? No. Do I sit back and tell people that I’m a writer and look and claim that I’m some artist great and powerful? No… God no… Personal expectation and people’s anticipation is a fun combination (love it though; I have to try and keep a high standard… or some shape and form of one!!). I wake up each morning wondering where my next idea will be and will be and if it will be any good; have I had my moment and that’s it: time to burnout.
Am I going to sit back and complain though? Hopefully not, I’m a football fan and after Celtic’s performance midweek, I’ve more than enough to complain about. I’m not going to bombard you with piece after piece claiming, “This is amazing! Check it out!”. I’m going to embrace it hopefully, use it and drive on towards being like my heroes Neil Gaiman, Stephen King and Terry Pratchett.
Thank you very much for all the reads, compliments and criticism over the summer. You made a three year old and a nineteen year old Dylan very happy. The fact that people are interested in what I have to say on a week in week out basis is cool; and that I might have helped people is even better.
I don’t have some big realisation to give away or a great word of wisdom… so… Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel…
I’ll leave you with a Batman reference.