It’s done. Honours has been amazing, and it’s now done. (You can read my research notes and journey on this blog, where I documented my year).
Writing is researching. Reading isn’t the thing you do before working, you do it always. Meaning isn’t in any way determined or planned, it’s something that appears suddenly when you look backwards after a whole lot of hard work. Bullet journal. Manage time. Sleep. Being kind to myself often involves letting housework go first. Wardrobe next. I can ask for help. I should show work often and freely. I have people around me who are brilliant. Creativity is collaborative.
I had to tell myself all year that taking a year “off” or “away” wouldn’t kill my career. I managed to use some of my writing during the year to publishable ends, but for the most part I’ve slipped off the face of the earth for 8 months. Instead of feeling guilty about this, I had to have faith that putting in some hard work when I’d finished meant that relationships could be rekindled, and I could get back into the swing of everything I’d been doing previously. Freelancing, pitching work, blogging regularly – engaging with things outside of my research question.
Now that I’m a week and a half out from handing my last assignment in, I feel like I’ve relaxed as much as I can bare. I’m now looking down the barrel of ‘starting again’. It feels huge, almost unachievable. The more I try to decide how to tackle the task, the bigger it seems.
On Friday night I saw a great panel talking about nonfiction writing, at the announcement for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize shortlist (which is an amazing shortlist – congratulations, all!). Rosanna Stevens talked, at one point, about how she asserts her identity through her work. This is how I feel about writing, too. Particularly about blogging. Having put all this on hold for uni over the last eight months, I’ve lacked this outlet for asserting my identity. So coming back to it all, I feel like I don’t know what I even have to say – I’ve been talking only about one tiny thing for almost a year.
I’m realising that I now get to make use of the ways of working that I’ve been learning this year. Rather than finding something ground-breaking to write about here, I’m writing my difficulties out. I’m writing towards meaning. The more I write, the more I will write: it’s always been like this. When I figure out what I have to say, I will have lots to say. I’ll be asserting things about myself and the world – how people make things, how it all works, thinking through my obsessions.
Going forward, I want this blog to be more documentary. I will be writing about news, events and books as I always have. But I’ll also be documenting my own creative process. I loved the Honours blog’s ability to trace the trajectory of my work. This blog will be both the meaning and the working-towards: I’ll be sharing my magpie moments, my little connections, with you. Transparent creativity.
Thanks for waiting for me, hey. It’s nice to be home.