Tonight I went to the first Perth catch-up of the Australian Writers’ Centre. It was rather late notice, but 22 Perth writers found themselves in the middle of the city on a Friday night, in a reluctant circle, drinking wine.
We were a mixed bag. Young, old, novelists, ex-journos, bloggers. Published, unpublished. Enthusiastic. Jaded.
Like kids on the first day of school we went around the group introducing ourselves. I was first. I hate going first, but it’s better than going last, where you cannot focus on what others are saying because you are too concerned about what you are going to say, and not sounding like a complete moron.
One man observed it was ironic there was a public speaking component in a writers get-together. For many of us, we write because we cannot speak. For others, it was an opportunity to talk. A lot.
For the rest of us, peering around the room at our peers it was an opportunity to come up for air, get out from behind the solitude of the computer screen and interact in the world we write about. Hands were shaken, business cards swapped.
What we all had in common, apart from a distaste for travelling to the city, was a reason for being.
We were writers.
The only qualification you need to be a writer, isn’t a qualification at all. You don’t need a university degree to be a writer. You don’t need to be published to be a writer. You don’t need to earn a living to be a writer. (These things do help though).
You merely need to write.
I still stammer sometimes when I tell people I am a writer. I trip over my words, like I am a small child playing make-believe. ‘I am a princess,’ my three year old tells me, merely because she is wearing a plastic tiara. She believes it, so she is.
I write, therefore I am.
Welcome to my new blog: a writers blog. If you’re interested in being a parent maybe head to Relentless or if you like food then taste a bit of Meat, Three Veg and a Bottle of Wine. But if you are interested in the art of writing, then stick around… maybe you can teach me something.