This has been a week of inspirations.
Getting back into the revision of Shallow Crossing has inspired me to get the manuscript finished and get it out there. Seeing Rebecca James (author of Beautiful Malice) at the Writers’ Fest last week and hearing about the 80 agents she approached before finding one who would represent her confirmed for me that writing is not only about talent but about sheer, bloody-minded determination and persistence. You have to be willing to put your heart and soul into your writing if you aim to have your work published. And you have to be willing to do the work – hours and days and months and years of writing, revising the same page over and over again until you read it through one more time and know there’s nothing more you can change. And you have to be able to face the inevitable rejections when they come, take the manuscript out of the self-addressed envelope, place it straight back into another one and make yet another trip to the post office. It all sounds like a lot of hard work – and it is. But then there’s the buzz you get from creating a whole word not just in your imagination but on the page. And the possibility that one day someone else might read it and want to join you there.
The second inspiration this week came from writer Rupert Thomsom who was interviewed by Richard Glover on Wednesday on 702. Rupert, like me, lost a parent when he was very young, and has written about it in his memoir, This Party’s Got To Stop. Listening to Rupert’s interview got me thinking about the bits and pieces I have written for my own memoir, working title, The Mulberry Tree. The way I identified with Rupert’s words reinforced the important role writing plays in not only giving voice to your own experiences but the way it allows others to process and share their own stories. While we all have unique tales to tell it’s the overlap between these stories that brings us together and reminds us that we’re all part of that living, breathing organism called humanity.
And my third inspirational moment for the week was going to see Letters to Juliet today at the cinema. Ok, so it’s not the world’s most earth-shattering movie but it has the most exquisite setting – Tuscany, where we spent time on a goat farm three years ago, where I have dreamed of re-visiting, where I hope to return to research a novel I am planning. But it wasn’t just the vineyards dripping with grapes or the ancient buildings jostled against the hillsides or the mustard coloured fields rolling across the screen that inspired me. The main character, Sophie, is a closet writer, trapped in a job as a fact-checker for The New Yorker, when all she really wants to do is write her own stories. Without giving away too much, she falls upon an idea that ignites her passion and in the pursuit of that story she realises her dream of being published – along with one or two others. The part that resonated with me the most was when Sophie’s fiancée challenges her to be brave enough to follow her dream and call herself a writer. I won’t give away any more of the plot but if you feel like escaping to Italy for an hour or two take yourself to the movies.
Oh, and if you feel like reading some memoir, check out my story, Day of the Chooks, which I’ve been brave enough to post.
To read more about Rupert Thomson’s memoir go to:
To check out more on the movie go to: