The Emerging Writers Festival

03 November 2012 – I am considering this to be the first day of my new job.  Although I decided a few months ago to become a writer, I haven’t felt like it has begun until today.  Today, I felt the fear and the nerves of my first day at a new job.

Arriving.  So I am petrified.  Would not have gone if my boyfriend had not brought the ticket himself and personally driven me to the Writers Centre and kicked me out of the car in the rain with a brolly and handed me $20 for lunch.

So here I am, not a single soul in sight.

Idiot! I think I’m in the wrong place.

What a waste of time.

Oh wait – I am an hour early.  Fuck!  Outside in the rain.  Lucky I have a brolly!!  Hmm frown.

The Emerging Writer, Writing, Inspiration

The Writers Centre

The Festival Begins… 

So it does feel like the first day of my new job, only no one knew that I was coming and no one saw me when I did.

The Emerging Writers Festival is being held at Callum Park, a Historic area of Balmain that is also home to a Mental Institution and a Fine Arts College.

As I sat on that lawn I looked over at the Art School car park.  I had driven into that car park at least a hundred times; late for an Art History lecture, or a studio critique.  Everything feels so familiar.  I know this place.

It is strange to have arrived back here after so long.  It feels as if I almost got it right, this place, but I walked into the wrong door, and found painting instead of writing by mistake.  Now I must go back to this place and start all over again, as a beginner on her first day.

My Very First Day

In fact, I feel a tiny bit like a wanker.  I mean, who did I think I was buying my ticket, inviting myself along and calling myself a writer.  Particularly when I have never published anything and will probably have no future in writing, at least not a financial one.

I love listening to all the jaded writers talk.  They are so warm and angry at the same time.

I make a mental note – When I am a famous author talking on a panel at the Emerging Writers Festival – ‘Must try to sound a tiny bit grateful and wear nice professional clothes.’

 It is Thrilling & Horrible to be here – Inspiring & Depressing – Motivating & Alienating –

I ate my lunch all alone.  I don’t think I said a single word all day.  I was a true introvert.  I think I put my hand up once when the audience was asked if there was anyone who was at a festival for the first time.  My book is full of notes though and I can feel a quickness in my body to get home and start working.

What I learnt

  • I wanted to be a writer more than ever before.
  • I need to investigate about finance, money, superannuation & tax.
  • Writing will take a very long time, years and years, before I start to see results.
  • The results I eventually see, will probably not be in the form of Money.
  • The average wage of a writer in Sydney in 2012 was $11 000 A year.
  • That I will always need a part time job.
  • That most writers are bitter about most things to do with writing.
  • That telling someone your a writer is hard.
The Emerging Writer, writing, finding ideas

Festival Book

I also brought this great book, compiled from the Melbourne Emerging Writers Festival.  I wrote an encouraging inscription inside the cover to myself during one of the talks.

I need to come up with another way of explaining that I am a writer, without sounding like a Knob!


by Meg

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