You may have noticed the National Young Writers’ Month badge appearing on my blog and, if you know me through Twitter or Facebook, seen my enthusiastic spruiking of the program, organised by Express Media, which aims to encourage young Australian writers to set goals and achieve them during the month of June.
I am the South Australian ambassador for NYWM and will be visiting and speaking with writers’ groups, schools, universities and libraries around the state to promote this opportunity for young writers to interact and contribute both online and at live events with the state ambassadors, other Express Media staff, established writers, and each other.
There is already some great content appearing on the site, including event listings, interviews and contributions from guest writers who share their perspectives on the importance of writing and why they write. And why do I write? Well…
…we all write.
And not just those basic, pragmatic pieces of communication we compose without thinking, like shopping lists, tax returns or notes telling somebody we’ve gone to the shops and should be back in fifteen minutes.
No. In some way or another, we all look for ways to express something inherent and definitive about ourselves, about how we see the world, our place in it, and the people who share it with us. I’m not saying that everybody out there has written something to rival Shakespeare, or the great Australian novel. Not everyone has or will be able to construct the brilliantly absurd political observations of Kafka, or convey a sense of place with the same vivid, stripped back immediacy as young Hemingway.
But writing doesn’t begin there. In fact, I would argue that writing doesn’t even begin with pen touching paper or the rain-patter of your fingers on laptop keys. Or even with the idea that you will put words on a page, right after the next late night re-run of Sabrina on one of those new fangled digital channels (didn’t Salem the cat say recently he was an arts major? Surely that justifies me, a writer, watching just one more episode…)
Rather, it begins with that desire we all have to somehow write ourselves into the world…
And after you’ve done that, make sure to sign up and register your writing goal for the month of June. There’ll be plenty of content and conversations with fellow writers to help you achieve it.