The Writing Life

I’m currently working on a new book, which is always exciting. So far, I’ve had between one and three books published... which doesn’t make a great deal of sense, I'll admit. “Surely you can remember how many books you’ve written?” you are probably asking (unless you’ve decided that I’m talking nonsense, in which case you’ve already stopped reading). One book was published for the bookstores; one was an e-book, sold online; and the other was a self-published educational book, co-written with a friend who has an education degree. (Having a “DipEd” after one of the authors’ names gave it that extra air of credibility.)

The current book is also for the bookstores, but I’m not at liberty to say any more. Suffice it to say that it has already taken up some of the time that I would usually spend writing articles, or blogging.

That’s not to say that I have stopped writing for newspapers and magazines. In fact, my weekly column for The Canberra Times (mentioned in an earlier blog) seems to be going well – by which I mean, it hasn’t been banned yet, even after nine long weeks.

I feel very lucky, being able to write so much. While many gifted writers do their writing in their spare time, for the sheer joy of it, I am blessed to do it for a living. (True, I also write many things voluntarily – like this blog – but that’s a bonus.) Of course, I haven’t always felt so lucky. At times when my trade has not gone well, when I’ve been forced to borrow money from friends simply to pay for food, the writing life has seemed more of a headache. But however hard times are, when people (well, my mother) have suggested “Why don’t you go back to a real job?”, I can’t do it. It’s almost like I don’t have a choice. Writing, it seems, is my dharma. To return to a regular job in the public service (where I get holiday pay and regular comradeship, and didn't have to buy my own stationery) would seem like a step backwards. I’m here in the often lonely, usually reflective, and ultimately rewarding world of my writing.

So if I write all day, what do I do to relax? Many things. Exercise, meditation, reading, music… And when I’m tired of all that… oh, that’s where YouTube comes in (but don't tell anyone about that).