This is the week of Every Move’s release. Wow – there were times when I didn’t think this book would even happen. Again and again I’m reminded: writing is hard. We wouldn’t keep doing it if we didn’t love it. It’s work – deeply satisfying work.
My son has reached that age when he’s making decisions about the things he wants to do and be. I don’t mean he’s consciously making those decisions – I mean, he’s following his gut instincts towards the things he likes, gravitating towards the things he enjoys, and slowing dropping out of the things he finds a bit ‘meh’. We all reach that stage. Sometimes it takes us longer, so the things we really like and enjoy get sidelined for a few years, to focus on the things we need to do. But they simmer away there inside you, those things you are drawn to, the pastimes you love, or the hobbies you wish you had more time for. If you’re really lucky, and you have good circumstances and the right encouragement, you find a way to utilise those talents early. But for many of us, me included, it sometimes takes years of trial and error before you figure out just what exactly you’re hankering for, what it is that really fires your passions.
I have worked many jobs, and I have liked quite a few of them. But there has always been something else there, bubbling in the background. I remember writing stories on sheets of foolscap paper in a special folder that I kept in my bag especially for the long trips to and from school on the bus. I did it all through primary and high school, and I used to hang out in libraries a lot. I read everything I could lay my hands on during this time, and used to hound the school librarians for the next books when they arrived on order.
By the end of high school I knew that saying I wanted to be a writer was a like saying I wanted to be an astronaut – one of those things that little kids say, not realising how far out of reach a goal like that could be. So I looked at law and journalism and education and other things, all those stupid pamphlets they used to give you in high school when you’re trying to figure out your direction after Year Twelve, while surreptitiously sneaking the ones about writing and publishing into my bag.
But in the end it came down to two things: determination and patience. By the time I had my first child, I was thirty, and knew that somehow I wanted to keep writing. And then when I’d been patient a long time, and had developed a dogged level of persistence, I figured it was now or never.
Ultimately, if you want to follow the thing that inspires you, you have to be determined. You will not be given the chance to pursue your dream or talent or whatever because some Fairy Godmother gave you a wish, or put an opportunity in your lap. You will have to work for it. You will have to be determined, and just stick with it, despite tedium and bad luck and frustration. You will have to become a bit of a bloodhound about it. Because nobody owes you anything, nobody will give you anything for free. So you will just have to suck it up and do it.
Fortunately, if you’re following the dream of your heart, the thing that inspires you, your passion, you will not find working at it a chore. You will keep going because you love it.
So here’s some of the new reviews for the thing I created out of love J
Here at UnfinishedBookshelf
A full series review at Behind the Pages
Here at Written Word Worlds
And at DaringDamsels
I've also had some amazing reviews at ALPHAreader's blog and at Kid's Book Review. There will be more reviews coming in as the blog tour continues, and also in print media like Dolly and Birdee. If you'd like to join in the giveaway, you can click on the link to GoodReads at right, or go back to my previous post, which tells you how to enter.
Tonight, I know lots of people are going to see Roxane Gay speak at the Wheeler Centre – I so wish I could be there! She’s amazing! But if you can’t make it to Roxane’s talk, and you’re around Castlemaine tonight, please feel free to come along to the Castlemaine Library, where me and three other female crime writers (Sandi Wallace, Kathryn Ledson and Sue Williams) will be having a lounge-room chat for the Killer Queens event. It’s free, it starts at 6pm, there’ll be a door prize and refreshments, so please feel welcome!
I’m also gearing up for my visit to Queensland as part of the Somerset Celebration of Literature on the Gold Coast – I’m flying out the day after the launch party for Every Move. It’s gonna be a massive week, and I hope to see you there.
And finally, for those of you who don’t know, it is also the week of International Women’s Day. IWD is actually on 8 March (which is the day my littlest son was born J Happy Birthday Ned!). IWD exists because we still live in a world where the pay gap between women and men is huge, and where here in Australia, the Minister for Women is a man (our illustrious Prime Minister, He Who Shall Not Be Named), who happens to have scheduled an IWD lunch at a men’s-only club (really. I mean, really. I hope Roxane says something about this tonight, I really do), and where women all over the world still live in fear and inequality. With that in mind, I’d like to do a quick roll call of all the women writers who’ve influenced me in my lifetime. And here they are, and many more besides, in no particular order:
Sally M. Gearhart
Simone de Beauvoir
Sheri S Tepper
Phillipa (PD) Martin
Laurie R. King
Ursula Le Guin
Joanne (JK) Rowling
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Susie (SE) Hinton
Maxine Beneba Clarke
and all the women I’ve accidentally left out,
and most especially, poet and high school English teacher, Lorna Ferguson.
With all my love -