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Edition 400 – Creative Writing

Back in January 2016, I commenced writing Growth and today, we’re celebrating 400 editions. Save for a couple of weeks each Christmas break, it’s almost 8 years that I’ve been writing this. Thanks to everyone that has read it, sent replies and provided commentary.

In the early days, I received from more than one person, an email that said:

“Who is writing this for you?”

When I replied, no one, it’s all my own work, my guess is that two camps opened up:

  1. Those that believed me and appreciated my work.
  2. That that thought I was telling fibs and that there was someone else behind it all.

The truth is, in the very early days, I had the dream of going into journalism. As a 6 year old, I’d sit in front of the TV every night and watch Brian Henderson read the news. I wanted to be him. Most children that age wanted to be a policeman or footballers, but not me.

When my parents made the decision in late 1981 to relocate to the Gold Coast, it was a huge upheaval for me, personally. I’d already undertaken a couple of day long workshops with the Australian Film and Television School and liked what I saw. One of my student cohort who joined me in those workshops, ended up with a career in sports journalism on television.

In early ‘82, as I enrolled in my second high school in 3 weeks in Queensland (the folks really didn’t know what they were doing or where we were going to live!), I noticed that at Palm Beach Currumbin State High School, Typing was on the list of subjects. So, as one of two males in the room, I learned the craft on an Olivetti typewriter. At the end of the year, when I was asked what I wanted for Christmas, there was a serious upturning of the eyebrows when I replied “a typewriter”. And, so, my Brother portable typewriter came into my life.

Through my early days, my other passion was politics. In hindsight, I was a bit of an odd-bod in terms of my interests. There weren’t too many primary school children that could recall most of Malcolm Fraser’s Cabinet, but I was one of them. In my late high school years, I became actively involved politically and, at the ripe old age of 16, was asked to be the secretary of the local political party branch when the incumbent took a job opportunity elsewhere. I was hooked and for a long time, politics was what I wanted to pursue as a career.

Thinking probably too far ahead, I then decided that journalism, whilst I enjoyed what that might lead to, was not the grounding that was needed to be a good political representative. I felt you needed something that had more “gravitas” about it. Accounting and Economics were two school subjects I liked and somehow, through those last two years of high school, my life’s journey was mapped out.

Occasionally, people ask me how I write. I have a couple of rules:

  1. I write what I want to write, that interests me. I don’t try and appeal to anyone else’s interest and work on the premise that if they like my writing, that’s great and if they don’t, that’s OK too.
  2. Consistency is key. If you’re going to write, you need to roll it out as often as you promise you will.
  3. I rarely write at my desk. For me, it’s not work and it’s more of a creative endeavour. So, often, I write when I’ve stepped out for coffee.
  4. I usually have anywhere between two and four already “in the bag”. That helps with the consistency element.
  5. I don’t self edit and I don’t have someone review my work. It is what it is. Better to have it done and out there, than perfect.

Thanks for joining me on my journey these past 8 years, or over whatever period you’ve been reading my work. I appreciate all the the support that comes from so many of you.

This Week’s Tip

“Do something because you enjoy it. When you no longer enjoy it, stop doing it…”