Welcome to my writing zone. I was sixteen once (above left) and spent all my time writing. From that day to this (right) it’s been the same. I have written letters, postcards, memos, shopping lists, reminder notes and requests. I produced thousands of pages of essays and theses at High School and at University which finally gave me access to an academic career. Then I had to write articles about my own research in order to keep that career afloat. I wrote about Aboriginal/indigenous Australia, and about cultural aspects of Southeast Asia, especially movies.
All the time I was also writing my own stories, fictional narratives and a daily journal. I kept almost complete day by day journals during my teenage years and again from my mid thirties at various times afterwards, including now. I was also fascinated by painting and studied artistic works wherever I happened to be, from the coasts of Arnhem Land and the Australian deserts to the great galleries of Europe and the United States.
From the start I had wanted to be a writer and an artist. Many things stopped me, not least the need to support three children. So I needed the academic career although it took me away from what I felt I should be doing. It gave me a range of extraordinary and unique experiences, great for fiction, but I couldn’t publish from it because it wasn’t part of “the discipline”. As a writer I was trapped in the learned journal.
A couple of years ago that life came to an end. “Retiring” they called it, but for me it was the beginning of the work I had been wanting to do. I enrolled in a diploma in visual arts at TAFE which I completed after two years of hard slog and enlightening confrontation with reality. It led me to begin writing about art, at first for assessments and then because I wanted to. My art-writing site partners this one, you can visit it at Art Writing from Australia. And then I took up the writing career which had been on hold for so long.
I resuscitated some of my old writings, those which had somehow remained with me through travelling and moving and storage. I started re-writing stories I had made fragmentary notes on, as well as whole novels, some from the “bottom drawer” and others lodged in old Word files. This was more like it!
I have had to learn all kinds of things nobody once needed to know to be a writer. One of the hardest has been learning to manage the world of websites, domains, social media and independent publishing. Authorship and readership is not what it was, and entering the writing world I have been inhabiting as a kind of ghostly presence for so long is a real challenge. But I’ve made a start:
LINK TO MY AMAZON AUTHOR’S PAGE: here
Writing needs time, but it also needs place. I have been fortunate in having beautiful places to write in. The banner photo above is the view from my house on the Hawkesbury River. The full moon hangs in the sky as the first light of dawn touches the mountains. That is how I see this writing zone: where the fullness of a life is freshened by the dawning of each new day.