I was an accountant. A tax accountant, for that matter. I never thought anyone would be interested in anything I had to say. Moreover, I didn’t believe I actually had anything interesting to say. Qualified journalists, born storytellers, those were the people that were worth listening to. They were the people whose stories I myself eagerly read.
When I was growing up (back in the stone age before the internet was barely even a thing) my inspiration came from friends, from family and from the newspaper if I was feeling particularly intellectual. If I was planning a holiday, I walked myself into the nearest travel agency, collected as many free brochures as was acceptable and went on my merry way. (I may still do this…what can I say, I’m a purist.) In this day and age, however, we are blessed with a plethora of facts, figures and photos about all the latest destinations, the latest fashions that should be accompanying us to said destinations, as well as a myriad of other must-dos. It’s not just the plain old internet anymore. It’s evolved into something so much more…the blog.
I was attending the Sydney Writer’s Festival with a friend to see the brilliantly talented and always witty Elizabeth Gilbert. Renowned the world over for her tales of eating in Italy, praying in India and loving in Bali, she has also penned the equally fascinating and totally awe-inspiring Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Choose curiosity over fear. Don’t let fear get in the way. Suffice to say I left that session, signed book in hand, ready to unearth my hidden creativity.
Image source: Bloomsbury Publishing
As I turned that final page, an idea that had waited patiently for me to help realise it, finally came to fruition. I purchased a domain name, discovered I was technologically-challenged as I battled my way through a WordPress set up and then, still with some hesitation, began writing my very first blog post.
I struggled through my days in Sydney and at night, I wrote. Not because everyone else was doing it and certainly not because I expected to make anything of it. I wrote simply because I finally realised I had a voice. I wrote about being taken out of a life I loved and being dropped into an unfamiliar one. I wrote about wanting to pick myself up and find my happiness again and somehow, along the way, I did. It was as though, through writing, my struggles had left me and instead taken up residence on the page (or screen, rather, since we are just so techie these days).
Whilst most every sentence Elizabeth Gilbert utters is abundant with wisdom, one in particular continues to guide me in this new journey. If you try to write for everyone, you will end up pleasing no-one. So, if one more person gets lost amongst the pages of a novel, one more person takes a journey to a place they never before imagined themselves, one more person finds the courage to change the way they see the world around them, then I’ll count myself lucky to have been a part of it.
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