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Image by Behzad Ghaffarian

About My Writing

I write, therefore I've been?

I’ve always liked writing, but it was around my late teens that I started to think it might be an avenue for me. I remember sitting in the Melbourne Art Gallery in 1978 trying to write an essay on The Great Gatsby, surrounded by impressionist artwork. My girlfriend was there to write a report on the exhibition while I tagged along, desperate for inspiration. My resulting essay was horrible to look at – written on lined paper on my lap in smudged purple pen. It also barely reached the word limit. Surprisingly, it scored B+. Even more surprising was my 1979 Year 12 English mark, which was A. I remember opening one of my exam essays with a line from the song “I don’t like Mondays” by The Boomtown Rats. It had been our anthem over our study period because the first exam was on a Monday. Hats off to my American Year 11 and English Year 12 English teachers who saw some potential and challenged me to try harder.

After several years in science, I found myself teaching at a technical college and writing about writing. Specifically, I adapted a manual my father had given me on Software Documentation, and we used that to teach our IT students. From there, I went on to writing courseware – courses that other people delivered to a group of students or that was used independently by the students themselves. If I have a pièce de résistance for that season, it would be either a suite of training materials for a technical course, or a two day course on Adobe InDesign, which I developed from scratch and which produced a sophisticated bifold flyer. Each individual step required to create the flyer was woven into the course sequentially. This type of writing forced me to be concise and to think carefully about flow. Each new function had to build logically on the one preceding it.

After a season working in a school, I took time out to rest and re-evaluate. In early 2016, I joined the Rowville Aspiring Writers – a small group of budding or published locals who are extremely supportive of each other and (mostly) very humble. It is a perfect space in which to dabble in different forms of writing and I was thrilled when a few of my short stories were published in the local community newspaper. Simultaneously, I launched into a Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) as a way of keeping my brain occupied and, in the process, learned the great importance of stories and written communication. The MEdTL required blog entries, and I think I posted at least 4 times as many as expected because I really enjoyed the pondering required to take ideas from research and to adapt them to my learning. In late 2018, we moved to Torquay and I started work in a public library network as a casual. This reinforced the importance of stories – fiction or otherwise – and highlighted to me the significance of the library as a safe shared community space for all generations and sections of the community.

In March 2020, Covid-19 happened, and that’s where I find myself now. I’m happily no longer working, living in a coastal town with my husband (still working), two rehomed cats (Roger, the smoochy Ginger tabby, and Annabelle, the dumpling-shaped Russian Blue), three chickens and a veggie patch. I thought it was high time to share my stories and start putting more effort into writing. I was particularly inspired by a couple of recent posts in LinkedIn by Paul Scanlon.

AUTHORISE YOURSELF. If you want to be a singer, say you’re a singer and tell others you’re a singer. Step into your power whatever it is and stop waiting for others to validate you. Give yourself your own credentials and qualify yourself and go be that person, we are waiting for you. 🙏🏼

If you see your creativity as your baby you’ll have to follow it around protecting it from any harsh response. You have to see your ideas as kids who’s time has come to leave home.

I think of my stories as contemporary utopian. I like everything to have a happy ending. My characters don't usually swear, and I'm more likely to describe hard emotional places than physical. Hopefully, they bring a smile to you, but I am well aware that smiles can be sad and wry as well as happy

. 😊

About My Writing: About Me
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