Saturday, July 09, 2011

A Long-ago Promise

I have this vivid memory of standing on the asphalt netball court of my primary school playground and announcing grandly to a fellow classmate that my ambition was to write a book. Looking back I must have easily been around grade four. Perhaps grade five? To this day I don't know where that statement came from. I love writing and still hold the lofty ambition of one day actually writing a published novel of some kind, but to say that at such a young age?

I achieved my Arts degree later in life, I was an older student, being thirty years old, and majored in Literature, doing this precisely before having my first child. The study came later on in life, mostly because I felt unsupported in my home life with my academic studies when I was in high school. But I try not to lay all the blame at parental feet because I'm a true believer that you are what you make of it. If you say you're going to do something then do it. When I started my degree my grandmother was adamant that I kept telling her that one day I was going to write and be a journalist. When I was in high school I harboured ambitions to study journalism but it was not to be - and truthfully I don't think I'm cut out for that particular profession.

In the last fifteen or so years I've been noticing something. Almost everything I have set out to do, I have done. It's been a lot of incremental things; getting married, buying a house, having children, studying, traveling, and now the extension. I have slowly set goals for myself and looking back I can see that I have achieved most of them. All except this one.

So even though I uttered that grandiose statement in my pre-pubescent years, I feel that I should hold myself accountable to it. I remember reading or hearing somewhere that the average age of an author is 50. I'm 38, so I reckon that I've got a bit more time up my sleeve to make that statement come true.

Today I read in the paper that 'Late-blooming' authors had won two of the Prime Minister's Literary awards. I was heartened to read this. Stephen Daisley is 56 and wrote the winning novel Traitor.
It's his first book but he says he's been writing for 20 years. Another winner Rod Moss, 63, won the non-fiction award for The hard light of day.
I've not read either book, but on reading the article about their winning books, reminded me of a long ago promise I made to myself. And it made me wonder, perhaps these first time published authors have blogs too?

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