When I woke in the morning I could hear faceless whispers taunt me from the shadows. I would walk in an attempt to clear my mind for the day, but I questioned who the voices could be and what stories they had to tell. I would peer into the shadows searching for more information, but they had gone silent. The stresses of real life were too loud for whispers to be heard clearly.
While my day passed completing mundane tasks the voices rested, reaching their tendrils toward me in quiet moments. I knew there was a story to be told. I was so scared of losing my wanton grasp on these ideas that I couldn't bring myself to shine a light on them. I doubted anyone would be interested in hearing my thoughts and conclusions.
This fear would creep in to my dreams with reckless abandon. The night is filled with shadows, the whispers would become louder in an insistence to be heard. How knew that I needed to tell the stories to any that would listen, but I would have to walk alone down the shadowy paths. I had to forget my stress, I needed to clear away all judgement and remember a time that magic was real.
Writing is a solitary adventure in the real world but much like the never ending story there are characters that you meet along the way whom you befriend. Sometimes having to take a little more time to get to know what is really behind the motivations of your new friends, others you understand straight away.
As you learn who your characters are, you find the best way to share their story with the world. Your job is to be honest with your new friends and with yourself. You cannot tell their secrets unless you have permission to. You cannot spoil the fun if there is a surprise. You get to enjoy their adventures in first, second and third perspective all at once.
Although you are alone in the room with your keyboard, being a writer is immersive. You start the story by dipping your toes into the edge of the world and then you often fall in, head first. The conflict at the beginning of the tale opens all the doors that you need to make it to the end. Walking alongside the main characters, flying over the homeland, looking through the eyes of the opposition from the beginning to the end. Hoping all the time that you make it to a point of happiness; somewhere in their life that they are content until the next adventure.
When I started writing I knew that it was going to be a long journey but it is hard to share with others what I am really doing with my days. I am a writer I say in return to their queries.
A few varied responses...
1. The withered smile.
2. A Patronising "Oh, that must be nice."
3. Keen interest in the story, but it only lasts a moment.
4. I have written a story myself.... (normally it is sitting in a draw somewhere)
and my favourite...
5. Where are you published?
Unfortunately at this stage I have not had the courage to privilege to feel the joy of my published works in my hand, but I know that I will one day. I am dedicated to finishing my stories to a publishable standard, but I won't let them out until I am happy with them. I don't want to hand my baby over to a stranger without his hair brushed of all my spelling tangles.
I have met many friends along the way that have encouraged me to continue. My Family and close friends, other writers that I have met through conferences and writing groups. I have let myself down with unrealistic goals that left me broken for weeks. But now that I have a solid idea of what I want out of this amazing journey it is easier to get up. Sometimes I just need someone to tell me to get out of my own way. To remind me that I can do this and even though I may have misplaced my faith m myself for a moment, they have faith that I can do it. It helps more that you can imagine.
So, I would like to say that although life is always filled with twists and turns, I hope that I can make it to the place of contentment in my writing that I bring my characters to. I am proud to be on this path at the moment, I just may have to put some 4WD tyres on during the editing process that seems to be unending.
I would love to what you think about your job? What sort of reactions do you get when you tell people what you do for a living?