Updated: Mar 11, 2020
So much success in life is down to the degree and quality of emotion you bring to a task or project, and how you harness that emotion. No less for writing than for any other aspect of life that might be considered. Think Djokovic and his 8 wins at the Australian Open. Think Cathy Freeman and the Sydney Olympics.
In writing for publication, for others to read your work, you need to be committed, otherwise why bother? But the commitment can't be based on blind faith and passion alone, since all those punctuation points and the clarity of syntax are matters where discipline must be adhered to in order to convey as closely as possible the idea or feeling that you're trying to convey to a reader through words. And words will never achieve the absolute feeling or scene itself, since these belong to different realms.
Writer and editor, Jacqueline Kent writes in her memoir, Beyond Words, of the notable author Kenneth Cook shrugging as he tapped out his manuscript of Killer Koalas, as if to say 'nothing much really'. She went on to note, 'If working as an editor had taught me anything, it was that no writer on planet Earth believes that his or her work is nothing much really.' (UQP 2019, p 31)
Writers who come along to SSOA's meet ups are all of a kind, the same kind I've been teaching or guiding in community classes for over twenty years. They have an itch, an urge to write about an experience either as fiction or as memoir, a twist of reality or a recollection from their own lives. One day they think they've hit the spot, the next they under-rate their writing significantly. So they spend their days either up or down - depending on their level of expertise and extent of previous publication, as well as the degree and nature of their artistic talent. They can move from thinking their work is brilliant and everyone will want to steal it, or it's abysmal and, 'Who would want to read it anyway?' This is no exaggeration of the highs and lows, and perfectly understandable.
That's why the camaraderie of a supportive writing group - where other writers are gentle in their critiques and keen to encourage the best of the writing presented - is a sensible way for an emerging writer to proceed. That's also why Sydney School of Arts & Humanities (SSOA) offers group meet ups with very low-cost fees to new writers, through support from the City of Sydney. And then SSOA may also go on to publish those writers.
So here are some samples of what writers are feeling, whether experienced or