Sometimes my world is so loud. The kids are noisy. The water rumbles through the dishwasher. The tram trundles right past our house. The hum of cars down the road, persistently filling the sound profile of my life. Even the flurry of birds which busily mingle in the gums and meet to wash in the cracked bird bath are noisy.
And then there’s the voices in my head; my past, present and future niggling me. Sometimes strangers arrive, calling to me, asking for life, demanding recognition. My head has always been filled with people and places. My emotions also needy, wanting validation. The world screams at me, until it doesn’t.
I reach for my computer. I flick it open and stare at the screen. It’s always there for me. It’s my quiet place. It listens. It doesn’t ask anything of me, only words. It’s my safe place. I empty some of the noise onto its pages. My therapist. My creative outlet. My identity. My best friend.
I sit very still when I write. Except when I’m not writing and then I clean my desk or lay on my bed willing the words to come and then when they do, they rush out of me. I need an editor. My words are often fumbled, raw and must annoy those who are technically gifted. I am not. I’ve never been immersed in the craft’s nuances. I’m more interested in the way it makes me feel. When I was reporting, I was most interested in telling stories. Now, as a blogger, I’m still interested in telling stories, but unlike newspapers I don’t have a team of wordsmiths cleaning up my messy copy. I should take more care. And one day when I find more than an hour of quiet time and I give life to all the characters in my head, in the form of novels, I will be forced to pour over each word before parting with my imagination.
I love the sound of the my fingers clumsily hitting the keys. I can’t touch type, but have progressed from the two finger drumming from long ago. I stare at my hands as they skip across the keyboard. Clunk, clunk, clunk. I’m unaware of the world around me, sometimes the noise creeps in and I pause, before the clunk, clunk, clunk begins again. I live in my bubble, recreating the smells, sounds, sights and feelings of each moment. A vacuum of life. No matter where I am in the world, as soon as my fingers start to type and I lose myself in writing, I’m home.
Yesterday, my peers judged this little blog of mine Bigwords as a finalist in the Personal category of the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Best Blogs of 2014. It’s the first time I’ve been recognised in this way and it feels like validation. Yes, I’m a needy writer full of doubt. And to be named alongside such amazing writers who I admire and look to for inspiration, makes it all the more sweeter.
Thank you for all your support, for reading my clumsy words. It means a lot.
When you pursue writing as your career it is a solitary endeavour. Like any creative pursuit, you are open to criticism, mostly by yourself. Self doubt, loneliness, insecurity and an overriding cloud of failure envelopes you. A fog of negativity can pull you into the darkness, but without the words your world would get too loud. The shouting in your head would overwhelm you.
I can be anywhere, be anyone and share anything, when I write. As I sit very still, with only the sound of my fingers clunking on the keyboard, my thoughts set firmly on the words, I am at one.