September 2, 2015

F is for Freaky


Photography by Mary Allison Tierney

When I co-founded the Write On Mamas with a small group of fellow friends and writers, I didn’t tell them that I was not like them, that I had not grown up with a passion for writing or had not always longed to be an author.

I didn’t tell them that I did not have any formal writing training whatsoever, apart from a reasonably good boarding school education in England and that had been waaay back in the dark ages, before the electric light bulb was invented according to my kids.

I didn’t tell them that even though I had always read book after book, I had not read many literary masterpieces. Sometimes I just read crap.

And I certainly didn’t tell them the real reason that I had sat down at my computer one day and started to write.

Because, even though I was now living in the new-age-hippy-yoga-with-everything San Francisco area, I thought I might get hauled away as being just a bit too weird and, dare I say it, freaky, especially for an uptight Englishwoman of a certain age who ought to know better. I just winged it.

As all the positivity how-to manuals spouted, I acted as if I was a writer and kept calm and carried on in my best BBC manner. And now here I am, about to have my unsanctioned scribblings actually published in a book!

And the daft thing is, I nearly got away with it. If only I had just kept my big mouth shut, but then I would be fighting the habit of a lifetime.

Why did I have to go and write an entire essay on who told me to start writing … as now I’m wondering if everyone is looking at me like I am completely mad and should be immediately locked up in a padded cell with only a few pastel crayons for company!

If you want to know why I am F for Freaky, you are going to have to buy our book, Mamas Write, and find out for yourselves.

Claire Hennessy has two essays in Mamas Write: The Reluctant Author and Writer’s Block Retreat.


  1. Sue LeBreton says:

    Claire, what a funny post and I love how you let us see you and get to know you better. Thanks for admitting you read crap. My taste in reading reflects the stress level in my life, if things are smooth I can read more challenging material, at other times bring on what some call crap. To me all reading is good. I look forward to reading your essay to see why you are freaky :-)

    • Claire Hennessy says:

      Thanks Sue. Yes, crap can be very relaxing if the rest of our lives are crazy! Mind you, mine is crazy most of the time!!

  2. What a great teaser, Claire! I want to read this book just to know the answer! (And I already know the answer!)

  3. Teri Stevens says:


    Ah, you are a great “Faker” not freaky!!!! I love that you did yearn to be a writer, but now you do! I too have read my share of crap, you are not alone.

  4. Claire, F is also for Funny, which you definitely are (I’d venture to add you’re not at all freaky–I think it’s normal to feel like a writing poseur. Hmm–F is for Fraud?). My entire reading history consisted of trashy teenage romance–“Gone With The Wind” and “Nancy Drew” were what passed as literature. Now I read even less. We are so lucky that you Found writing and co-Founded WOM!

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