Blog Post #6 – Too Big To Fit In Here
Determined to make 2015 my year of writerly success I’ve been trying harder to write everyday. I’ve always resisted such a commitment, because it’s difficult to work for ten hours and come home with any kind of brain for writing, but a conversation with my friend Esther (“writing is a muscle”) made me realise that even though my work at The Vine wasn’t very lucrative or particularly engaging it was – at least – writing. Regular practice made me a better writer, having words at the front of my mind made it easier to fill blank pages. Now the time I spend staring into the white is frightening.
In a Valentine’s Day issue of New York Magazine from 1972 Tom Wolfe published an article called The Birth of ‘The New Journalism’. Within the article he describes a breed of writer who works at a newspaper and bides his/ her time until they’re ready to push out a novel.
The idea was to get a job on a newspaper, keep body and soul together, pay the rent, get to know “the world,” accumulate “experience,” perhaps work some of the fat off your style—then, at some point, quit cold, say goodbye to journalism, move into a shack somewhere, work night and day for six months, and light up the sky with the final triumph. The final triumph was known as The Novel.
Of course the way Wolfe presents these poor souls is less than inspiring but there’s something to their idea. I’m undoubtedly going to be a better writer when I’m 50 and if I’ve been writing everyday of my 50 year existence I’m going to be the best writer I can possibly be. Perhaps I’m stupid for not devoting all my time to a ‘writing job’ like them and hoarding my more brilliant ideas.
But to avoid dwelling on my decision to leave The Vine I’ve tried to create new projects for myself. I wanted more creative control and having it has been both a blessing and a curse. My latest idea is to link my passion for nature with my skill for writing in an ultimate effort to help attribute worth to what’s left of Australia’s native forests. I won’t give too much away but what started as a simple story about a visit to the Nightcap Ranges in Northern NSW has become about so many different things – happiness, home, complacency, family, urban planning, psychology – too much for me to confine into 3000 words. If this is something I really feel passionate about, should I break it up and sell it? Or save it for my own “final triumph?”