There are many ways to avoid writing.
Lucy has tried a lot of them.
For a while I thought I’d like to paint, but my tutor told me it was always me he could see in the life-drawings, and anyway what was that scribbled in the margin?
And acting looked like fun, and I loved being in front of an audience. But somehow it was like a dress that didn’t fit or flatter my figure.
There’s an idea that you have to work at other things, like as I have in video stores, bookshops, as personal assistants, as a teacher and tutor in a university. All good places to gather ideas – and the money doesn’t hurt. But they can get in the way.
Walking dogs can do it, too. And visiting friends. Talking about writing – that’s a really good one.
But in the end I’d always come back. That’s how I’ve ended up with a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Wollongong, and a couple of books of poems (Fathoms, 1996 and Feathered Tongues, 2004, which was commended in the Anne Elder Award that year).
I have a novella manuscript about two young adults in Singapore.
I am writing a piece as a blog – what I call ‘The Writing in Sleep Project’ as I try to fit it in around the times my young son sleeps. It’s about two women in a friendship, and what happens in a tiny house by the sea.
While I’ve always loved children’s books, done a correspondence course in kid’s writing, sold kids books and treasured my copies of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, ‘Farmer Palmer’s Wagon Ride’ and ‘The Quangle Wangle’s Hat’ there is nothing like your own real live kid to spur your imagination.
It’s true, before I knew him I thought my son would take me away from writing. I thought he might be the final most effective procrastination tool in the world: how wrong I was.
Now I am working on the words for a children’s picture book called “The Call of the Quargle”, and more inspiration strikes me every day.