I’m writing this first entry from several thousand feet above sea level, onboard a very shaky airbus en route to Melbourne. This is all the glamorous jetsetting you can expect during my stay in the kennel — the rest of these blogs will be written at a far more sensible height from my studio in St Kilda East.
That's the end of my month here at "Inside a Dog". I've enjoyed putting these blogs together and thank you for all the people who have written back here, on facebook and via email. It's been fantastic to share some ideas and hear your thoughts on writing and the writing business. Hopefully the posts have given you a different perspective too.
To finish, here are some quotes about writing that I find thought provoking.
I first started writing novels when I was twenty five. It took me a long time to realise just how lucky I have been. It’s astounding really, how it has panned out, and I am very grateful, but I have made many blunders along the way. Here are some things about writing that I would want to tell me at twenty-five if I could go back in time and start again:
I hate ‘em, as a general rule. I don’t think I’ve ever used one. (I hope not). I can’t remember. Someone will let me know. Dreams in real life are great. They can tell us things about ourselves – specifically what is bugging us, and what anxieties we need to address. In fiction though, I roll my eyes, because it’s lazy.
I've been a bit quiet over the last couple of days because I was at a conference in Victoria.
Anyway, something very interesting happened! (Well lots of interesting things happened, but I mean specific to the writing of fiction which is why we are here.)
Firstly a bit of background. My next project is a series. There will be five books. I have written a pretty good first draft of a manuscript, which will be book two. I have prepared outlines of books three through five and I have started the manuscript which will be book one.
There is a setting on facebook where you can announce something as a life event. The thing is that you don't necessarily recognise events as life changing at the time. Often times, in my experience, the things that change your life are quiet and discreet. You don't realise how momentous they are going to be until much later.
Here are a couple of examples:
But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll,
My left hand hooks you round the waist,
My right hand points to landscapes of continents and the public road.
Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you,
You must travel it for yourself.
It is not far, it is within reach,
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know,
Perhaps it is every where on water and on land.
There is a school friend that I catch up with quite often. Let’s call her Eloise. One day we were having a meal together and I asked after another school friend. Let’s call her Georgina. Georgina and I were close at school, but after I moved away we lost touch (that is to say that she kind of deliberately lost touch with me despite my efforts to catch up). I have always been very fond of Georgina and so I ask after her anyway.
If you're not doing what you love you're wasting your time - Billy Joel
I would also add to that, if you have a talent and you are not fostering it, you're squandering it, and that's criminal!
But! And it's a big but...
You might enjoy this little video in preparation for this post. Please be warned, there is some very strong language in this song, so if you're uncomfortable with swearing don't watch it! Or if you're a young person, ask an appropriate adult if this might not be for you.
My question today is this - who is allowed to tell whose story?