Is writing for everyone?

BBWF pic #2

The Byron Bay Writers’ Festival was, well… awesome.

Firstly, it was in Byron Bay – no explanation needed.

Secondly, TSW team travelled there with three awesome, inspiring and like-minded women from loveEM.

And, thirdly, it was about writing – my favourite topic.   And I love to write.

But could I ever write well enough to publish a book?   And would anyone want to read it?

These were the big questions looming when I first set foot on the festival site.

Despite the fact that I have always written, in some way shape or form, I have always had this little nagging feeling that maybe I’m just kidding myself about being a ‘real’ writer.

In the writing world we sometimes think we need to be some sort of Hemingway or Bronte to produce something worthwhile.

And, no wonder, the writing world is relatively critical and even avid readers are quick to say ‘great story, but not written that well’.  In fact, I think I’m one of them.

So, who does get to write books that people will actually buy, and read and even recommend to someone else?   Well, actually anyone can.

Despite all the obviously awesome things about the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival, probably the number one benefit for me was realising that anyone can write and everyone has an amazing story to tell.

Yes, I did get to meet one of my all-time singer/songwriter idols, Paul Kelly, got to brush shoulders with ABC’s Kerry O’Brien and listen in wonderment to the amazing success story of ultra-talented young writer Hannah Kent.

However, it was the unknown writers with amazing stories that totally blew me away and had me reaching for the tissues.   And, what was even more amazing was the fact that most of these authors had set out to write their story just for themselves.

It was clear from all accounts, that despite the celebrity aspect and ‘big names’ that drew us to the festival, it was the ‘realness’ of authors that resonated with us.   The humble account of an actor-come-writer who spoke of the uncomfortableness of the writing process, the stories of countless knock-backs from publishers and the emotional process of baring your soul on the page that made it all seem very real and accessible.

Writing is hard, and yes some are better at it than others, but it’s so personally rewarding and anyone can do it if they try.   Whether it’s a novel, essay, poem or short story, it’s your story and more often than not it’s a cathartic experience.

And to me, that’s more important than how well it’s written or judged by others.

The writers at the festival were extremely humble and their humility taught me that ‘writing’ is for everyone and not just for famous people.

Christy xo