It’s an incredible time for me right now that feels like a beginning, more than an ending. I’ve just submitted my final piece of assessment of my Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. I should feel relieved, excited. I do, but there is a sense of sadness, and a great deal of reflection. There is also a nervous excitement about the time ahead of me, the unknown.
My last four years have been tremendous in all senses of the word. My life has changed in so many aspects, and lives around me have changed. Mum died, throwing my and my offspring’s worlds into chaos. My kids transitioned from children to teenagers, jumping normal adolescent hurdles, and fumbling through more tricky ones. I wrote a tonne of words and found a stable part-time job in the communications world.
Since you’ve been gone there are so many things I see and need to tell you.
Today we climbed the lookout (‘Look out!’) at Ocean Shores. What a view! I took a panoramic photo for you before I remembered you were gone; I know you loved views.
I could see the whales breaching and I was in awe. I know you would have been so excited to get my text with the photos. And to hear that there were dolphins swimming just near the boys today.
You would have asked me all about the place we are staying, and probably sent me a list of things to do while we’re here.
For the last two days Matt and I took an early morning swim. I thought of how you lived across from the water and could wander over at any time for a swim.
Then I wondered whether you had ever been here and I wish I had asked you.
So much unasked, so much unsaid since you’ve been gone.
It’s been a while. A long time since I last wrote. I haven’t dropped off the planet, haven’t stopped writing. But life has been busy, and I’ve found it difficult to find something interesting to write about here.
One of the hard things about writing when you’re a student, a chronic migraine sufferer and a mum with three teens, is that there is only so much time. And when it comes down to it, I do only what I have to so that I still feel like I’m a writer. I write my daily pages, and work on my second manuscript (oh the joy in an unformed thing) and edit my first manuscript (read: beat it into shape).
My friend Nicky Heaney who writes at Mary Beton’s Rooms wrote a great thought-provoking piece about freezing up, and learning how to free the creative part of our brain. It really speaks to the place that I am at with my writing.
This year I have spent sometime working on this ‘word-freeze’ I guess you could call it. I have found that when bad, life-shattering things happen to me, it is like I go five thousand steps backwards in my confidence as a writer and stop taking risks. Instead I sit in front a blank page, or empty screen with a blinking cursor, and fret about any word coming out. Will it be good enough? Is it unique, interesting? Was I really a writer? Ever?