SWF opening party
I thought I'd take a break from book talk and proceed straight to gossip (well, kind of). I went to the opening party of the Sydney Writers’ Festival on Tuesday night. Now that is definitely not the sort of sentence that rolls off my tongue very often. I mean, I like being social, but only in moderation. And after surfing and writing and visiting schools and bringing up two small maniacs, there’s not much time left to be social anyway. I used to be very social, but then I discovered that I quite like being alone. Which is a useful trait to have if you want to write. For me, anyways.
But the thing – I was worried because it was a ‘name tag’ event. (And you know what that means – people staring at your chest because they’re trying to work out if you’re somebody important.) Happily, though, it wasn’t like that at all! I found relaxed people who liked to have a good laugh, and you can’t ask for more than that.
It was held in this building:
The Sydney Dance Company and the Sydney Theatre Company are in the same area, so it’s all got this very cool vibe to it. Sort of New Yorky. Also cool were the flying book light bulbs they had hanging everywhere. And their compulsion to keep feeding us all night.
I drove home over the Harbour Bridge – because I’m not from Sydney originally, I always get this ridiculous thrill every time I go over it. And I was thinking about how I used to cross that bridge twice daily, because I was working as an economist in the city. I was thinking that if you’d told me then that one day I’d be going to a party like that, as an invited writer, I would have been incredulous. But also, stoked.
Back then, I was still trying to work out what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew is that I wanted to surf more. Really, it’s because of surfing that I’m writing. It’s also because of surfing that I ended up with my husband (well, that and the fact that he’s a nice guy), and I live in a place that I love. It’s given me all that, and it’s just a thing I do for fun.
The relationship I have with writing is a lot more complex than the relationship I have with surfing. But it’s equally important. And there are two other things that are important. The media often pitch people as overnight successes who were born to do whatever it is that they are doing. Not so in my case. I spent a lot of time doing other things first before I realised writing was it. And then it took me years to get anywhere near being published. So if you’re yet to find your thing, don’t worry. Just keep looking. Sometimes it’s worth asking the people around you what are the topics that you bore them senseless with :) Anyone want to share that one?
If you do find it, carve out time to allow yourself to do it. You might have expectations of what you want from it, you might not, but if you just keep turning up, taking baby steps, you could be surprised by where it leads you.
Okay, that’s enough of that. I don’t know how that turned into a therapy session, but apparently it did.
I’ll finish with my new graffiti signature. I’ve wasted a large part of my morning by not writing and instead playing on graffiticreator.net. That might give you some clue as to why it took me so long to get published.