'Writing Skeletons' – with Catriona McKeown

Posted by Rhiza Edge on 25th Mar 2021

'Writing Skeletons' – with Catriona McKeown

I have skeletons in my closet. Do you?

They’re not particularly nice ones. Springing to mind are words like 'anxiety', 'addiction', 'anger', 'depression', 'regret', 'lack of forgiveness', 'financial destruction', 'infatuation', 'fear'. I guess no skeleton is nice, no matter how big the closet is; I mean, they are all about death, decay and an acute lack of life, after all.

But before you roll your eyes and move on to the next story, these clichéd skeletons I’m talking about are skeletons within my world. They are worse than any of the other skeletons you’ve heard about before. They come with a story, every one of them. They’re real stories of real devastation, of real experiences, of real people. You know, there’s that one about—oh but hang on, you don’t know.

You don’t know because they’re my skeletons, in my closet. You’ll only know about them if I crack the door open. If I invite you into my closet to sit for a bit, to look around, to see the hurt and feel the pain, then you’ll know. You’ll know some of the story and understand why they’re my skeletons, and why I’ve been hiding them.

They say to write what you know.
So, should I crack the door open to my closet and let people in, just for a moment?
They say writing is therapeutic.
So, should I write the skeleton down and allow the healing to come to us both?
They say writing gives life.
So, if I write it, will it live again in my mind and in yours?
And so, I write.

You can follow along on Catriona’s writing journey through her website, on Facebook and Twitter. Her debut novel, The Boy in the Hoodie, is out now!