Perseverance Is Everything
I have been struggling. Perseverance is getting me down.
Writing itself and being a dedicated author is not a problem. It’s more about coming to terms with finding an audience.
Creating a novel is only part of my job as an author. I have to make sure others can discover and read it. Otherwise the whole thing would be a pointless.
Your words need to be read.
Over four years ago I set myself on the path I am now following. I decided to write something substantial.
I was already an experienced writer. I was a poet, a lyricist, and had written hundreds of songs. It was something I found easy to do. All I had to do was look around me and make an appraisal of the world around me.
I am a good listener and people would open up to me and tell me their stories. I would document them in songs.
I wasn’t judgemental. I would try and put myself in their situation and put their thoughts and experiences into words.
I study the world.
It’s a very interesting place if you take the time to look outside your own existence. We are not alone. We all struggle.
The things people go through, the stories I took in, are the things everyone goes through. Relationships go wrong, obstacles have to be overcome, changes need to be adapted to and every new beginning is a challenge.
Nothing stands still. We are all in motion whether we think out lives are mundane or not.
One thing is certain, life is never boring.
In my first novel I delved into the Australian indigenous experience.
Ancient cultures interest me and I believe the only way we learn is to look back at how we have dealt with things in the past. There is a tremendous knowledge which is being overlooked, especially in the case of Australian Aboriginal culture.
We may now be technologically advanced but we still remain human. Not all advancement comes through technology.
In Loreless I tried to capture this and present it in a way which didn’t come across as preaching.
Once I got past my own trepidations, the feeling I didn’t have the right to write about an experience from the outside, I could look deeper and truly try and understand what it must be like for indigenous people.
I could use it to amalgamate everything I learnt into a basic human experience. In the end it came down to studying how people overcome insurmountable odds and yet still continue to forge on.
In the case of indigenous people, perseverance is everything.
Years ago, when I first did research for the story behind Loreless, I thought the situation was improving with indigenous people in Australia.
I few times this belief also stopped me in my creative tracks. I didn’t think the story I was telling had any credence. I thought it was unnecessary.
I realise now that developments continue to be painfully slow. Even after more than 20 years of studying the situation many of the problems which existed back then still remain.
We haven’t come nearly as far as I thought we would have.
Australia still hasn’t come to terms with itself. It may have stormed on into the future, but it hasn’t really progressed.
Yet the indigenous people who are carrying the flame for their own way of life still uphold their traditional values.
Perhaps all that ancient knowledge is useful, especially if it is being maintained.
Time has another value, it is immaterial.
The past decennia of European settlement in Australia is a drop in the ocean when held up against 40,000 years of knowledge.
A little while back I managed to get in contact with the Aboriginal community which was the basis for my novel.
Over two decades had gone by with no communication.
What shocked me was they remembered me, just as I had continued to remember them. Strangely my time there had left a lingering memory. They even told me they had recently been looking at photographs taken way back then.
I asked them if I could dedicate the novel to them and they had no problem with this.
With some apprehension I sent them a copy of it. I suppose I still harbour the fear of saying the wrong thing. But if they already trust me, without having read a single word I’ve written, then that is certainly something special.
I should have the same faith in the story I have told. I can only hope I have done them justice.
The story is based on my opinions on the issues that they are confronted with, but I don’t think that is wrong as long as those opinions are honest.
This brings me back to finding an audience for my novel.
Can one man’s fictitious journey be a worthwhile read? Is there something fundamental in the story which crosses cultures? Will it encourage people to seek out information for themselves?
I can only hope they will. After all that was my drive behind writing the story.
If an ancient culture can still survive and thrive. Then that is the best proof that perseverance is everything. I should have no fears and do the same.
Aboriginal culture will still be here long after I am gone. Hopefully I can honour it by leaving something of worth for others to read, and most of all, to inspire.
Have you had a chance to read the novel and developed opinions of your own?
Leave a comment below or join the mailing list and let me know.