This idea about writing, from a young writer i think was involved with Voiceworks while i was there, is dear to my heart, that “even if you don’t finish something, you’ll have always learned something”, and that it’s important to “enjoy the practice of writing as much as what comes out of it”.
I spent a long time thinking that writing was about publication—about finishing something to the extent that you could send it to an editor and they would say “Oh wow, yes!”, like they were orgasming over your words. Of course we need editors and the audience they can bring to our writing, but writing for the sake of process/practice is so much more important to me now, so much more therapeutical and valuable than publishing.
I started a novel manuscript as well, and yeah it’s unfinished, but by writing those 50 000 words that came to “nothing”, i learned a lot about myself, and that’s why i write now. If i write something that’s worth being shared, i throw it up on my blog, but otherwise, writing is more like meditation to me now, and that’s such a liberating departure from the sort of ego-driven writing i used to do, when i was trying to write to an audience of many instead of writing to an audience of one.
I have changed my plans again, this time to stay in Greece for a few more months because i have a sense of home here, now. Something shifted when i decided to stay, which wasn’t as much a decision as it was a relinquishment, a letting go of some idea i had about the future.
I was going to Thailand and India via Australia, China, Laos and a few other places in between: back to Australia to get Mulga Bill Massive, my poor neglected touring bike, so i could cycle around in search of another community.
But around the thought of leaving Greece there was a feeling of an anxiety, which fell away when i knew i wouldn’t yet have to go back through Istanbul, Dubai, Adelaide, just to get my bike and ride to Byron or somewhere. I need community, communion, and here i have it, now, so why leave? Leaving a community in Greece to go in search of a community elsewhere is like going into a shop with a dollar and asking to buy a dollar.
When i realised this, the anxiety fell away and relief emerged, bright and luminous as the stars appear to be when you get out of the city for the first time.