A few months ago when I started to think about what I really enjoyed doing, I came to the conclusion that writing was something that made me happy, so I decided to join the Queensland Writers Centre. Firstly I enrolled in a creative writing course , which ran for a month. Every Wednesday for the month I would finish work and force myself to peddle away from the comfort of my apartment and towards the State library. I was always rewarded for my efforts by a renewed sense of excitement about writing. Even though I don’t have a great deal of interest in fictional writing, the course offered lots of general handy hints for writers, and also opened up a wonderful forum to explore creative ideas in a supportive and non judgmental environment.
Sometimes it feels like everything we do is evaluated, not only our job performance but our social lives in regards to social media platforms. Therefore it is completely refreshing to be part of an activity where there’s no scale of performance attributed, no one better than the other; it’s simply an opportunity to be creative. Essentially that is what creativity should be about, as how can you truly say that something someone creates is better than something else? It’s just different. Everything is purely perspective. If Marcel Duchamp can call a urinal art and get displayed in the Tate, then the idea of creative output is limitless really.
After this initial course, I have attended a few other courses. Last Thursday I went to a travel writing seminar that was hosted by travel writer John Ahern. It was an interesting evening that offered some insightful pointers for aspiring travel writers, and writers in general. John explained that if you really wanted to write the only thing to do was to ‘turn pro’: immerse yourself in writing, write everyday, read other travel writers and join writing societies. It was a motivating evening. It made me want to go home, write endless words on my last overseas trip, and read back to back Bill Bryson. I can’t say I did either of these to the full extent but it certainly inspired me to try.
Last night I went to a seminar called ‘Blog to Book’. Even though I only write my blog for personal satisfaction, not with any idea to make money or turn it into a book, I figured it couldn’t hurt to learn more about blogging. The host writers/bloggers Caylie Jeffery, Emily Craven and Nikki Parkinson offered some thought provoking ideas on blogging and marketing that I will definitely implement in the future. They certainly compelled me to keep going on my writing expedition, and see where I would end up.
More than anything, I always walk away from these events with a rejuvenated sense of purpose. Successful writing takes dedication and daily engagement. It’s like anything in life, you can’t do it half arsed and hope success lands on your doorstep, like scratching your way to a million dollars off a scratch-it card , you have to devote and commit yourself to it. You can only be truly successful when you put your heart and soul into something that matters to you.