Wow Wee. My own blog. First posts are a strange creature. Even more so because I’m an unpublished writer and I’m only beginning to understand how strange this whole ‘going public’ process is.
Let’s get a few things out of the way.
I am a writer. Yes, I am unpublished. No, I have not submitted anything to an editor, agent or publisher. Perhaps this is the problem. It’s all a work in progress. Oh and yes, seeing something I have created in print is the ultimate goal.
That’s not what this blog is about though. I often find myself wondering what else I could be doing, besides writing, reading and generally chasing after my toddler. I have creative thoughts that aren’t about writing fiction. Like the other day I thought about why I started writing, what were my influences and I’ll put that in a later blog post. I also want to put up bits and pieces that I write.
I’m an introvert, unless I know someone really, really well. That’s not because I’m a horrible and unapproachable person. It’s because most things freak me out. Getting out of my comfort zone is a big fear. I like my comfort zone. It’s comfortable. I want to be wrapped up in my cocoon of warmth and let the rest of the world just carry on.
Alas, I cannot. I have a job. I have the above mentioned toddler and one very patient husband. So the idea of throwing my head under the doona with my book in my comfort zone is unrealistic.
So writing this blog is freaking me out, but I’m doing it anyway. My stomach was in knots just trying to find the right header image and I hadn’t even started this post. So why do it? Because I have some stories I want to share. They may never be published and that’s alright too (even better if they were). I just write what’s in my head and magically it appears on paper. Sometimes my friends and family love it and sometimes they wonder what the hell I was thinking, and that’s alright too. So if no one but them reads this blog, then I haven’t really lost anything anyway.
I’ve always written. In high school I wrote scripts and directed plays. When I was sixteen I was accepted into NIDA’s Young Actors Studio course, which was one of the most liberating experiences of my life. Even though the audition process was terrifying. The acting coaches I had brought out something in me that I didn’t even know existed. I had the opportunity to act, write and even direct some parts of the productions. It was such hard work but so much fun.
One of my acting coaches told me that I had a gift and that I should be sharing it with the world. I don’t think I’d go that far, but my introverted nature immediately went into overdrive. “Oh no! He thinks I’m talented! Bugger!” Off to hide under my doona.
So away I went. Got my serious job- still creative but very corporate. I love the work I do. Got married to a wonderful man, who lets me ignore him for huge chunks of time while I write. I even had a daughter who made me want more out of life. That sounds like a horrible cliché, but it’s the truth.
So after I had her, I took a year off work, navigating parenting and teaching myself how to love creating again. I picked up my first book and reworked it, filling in missing plot lines, changing characters and cutting all the dead bits.
It invigorated me. I didn’t remember writing half of the words on the page, but I enjoyed reading it. My husband loved it and he is not a reader. That first book from start to finish took over 2 years to write, on and off. (I wrote the first draft of it over 9 years ago.) The second book took 2 months and the third I am half way through now. It’s a compulsion to dive back into the worlds I have written and I hope other people want to come with me.
The most recent step down this path was taking a creative writing class at the Australian Writers’ Center. I remember leaving after the first day and my husband asked me how it went. I burst into tears. Not because it was bad, but because it was so good. I said to him through the pitiful sobbing, “I have found my people.” It was remarkably freeing to be in a room with other people who knew about the ups and downs, the doubts and second guessing that I had been feeling all my life. It made me realise that it’s supposed to be that way. If I didn’t care about my stories, then they wouldn’t be any good. They still mightn’t be any good.
Regardless, that fragile little spark has come back to life, and I couldn’t be more afraid or excited.
Photo by Katelyn Fay via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons
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