There are some important realisations to be reached in life, aren’t there? That your mum was probably right about most things. That hot things will, indeed, burn you (I have the scar to prove it). That it’s still only Tuesday, despite the fact it feels as though I’ve spent a week at work already.
Those sort of realisations. Your average, run-of-the-mill moments of clarity that, while useful, do not really change your life in any way.
Then there’s the other type of realisation: the one that makes you realise you’ve spent most of your life being somewhat lazy and you should really do something about that right now. That’s the type that hit me last night, as I was listening to feedback on my latest assignment for the magazine writing course. It was good feedback; I’d done a lot of things right and my tutor was able to give me some very helpful advice about how to tie statistics into the proposed article.
It was at this point that the moment of realisation turned up and tapped me on the shoulder.
“So, uh, maybe you’re good at this writing thing?”
Normally, my subconscious doesn’t speak to me that way (mostly, I suspect, because I’d need to seriously re-assess my sanity levels should it do so). As it was, it had caught me at an unguarded moment and all I could do was agree with it.
Maybe I am.
“So maybe you should write this article?”
I had to accept that vast amounts of plausiblity that surrounded this statement.
“Or maybe the one about the nuns?”
Because, yes, I’d love to write an article about nuns in modern society. Or people who make cheese. Or the Australian Beer Can Collectors Association (it totally exists: look it up). I think I’ve finally understood what Valerie was getting at in her first lecture of the course when she talked about writing articles as a response to needing to research something in real life. Finally, I have found an outlet for a level of curiosity that verges on plain nosiness! I had no idea that was something I’d ever be able to use; I just thought it meant I was destined to enjoy eavesdropping on public transport conversations.
“Good news!” declared my subsconious, while it still had a captive and slightly bewildered audience. “From this point on, you can take your nosy curiousness and go forth among the unsuspecting!”
So the simple fact is that I have been going around with an insatiable sense of curiosity, a talent for listening to people and the ability to string words together in an agreeable manner… and it is only now that I’ve realised that a combination of all three could just result in my name in print. (That’s not to say I’ve given up on fiction entirely – I’m currently rather excited about an idea inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry which I hope might turn itself into words at some point.)
My mum always told me that I was one of the most unobservant people she’d ever known. She also told me I should consider writing fact instead of just fiction. Looks like this story proves her right on both points.