I’m not really sure what happened between last year and this year, or for that matter what keeps on happening, but things are certainly different.
I’ve been back on the creative writing trail since 2008, when I threw in my job, hitched on to my travelling boyfriend’s coattails and took off into the world in order to explore my love and my passions. I threw myself in the deep end, in all ways, and put some words down on paper while I was at it, finding my voice again.
Last year I enrolled in a university course that I could have joined 20 years ago, or definitely 11 years ago when I put it down as my second choice for study. Instead I went on with my performance dreams and took much longer to get here. There are no regrets – I learnt a lot, lost a lot, loved a lot, lived a lot – all of which is good fodder for writing, and I’m a much better person for it, and have found my personal idyll.
But somewhere between last year and this year, somewhere precisely at the point where I started writing stories and poems for my uni work I think, my dedication to and understanding of my writing has crystallised into a real and actual embrace of becoming a writer, professionally, and doing it for the rest of my life.
Not as a hobby. As a job. As something that brings in the money, that has something to say, that people buy and enjoy and will want more of.
The idea that I could be someone in my cultural landscape like Kate Grenville, or Helen Garner, or David Malouf, or Peter Carey – someone who has not just something to say but something to say that makes people think and feel differently about things, whose opinion is valued (and even at times argued against) – this idea has become a reality that I am working towards, and one that I want.
It’s time to think big, write well, and imagine the writer I want to be.
And the only way to do that, is to write. And publish. And write.
The difference now is I no longer like the idea of having written. Now, I want to write, and I want people to read it.