Introducing Gabbie…

Hello Beautiful People – it’s Gabbie here and this is my first blog for The Print Posse.  Special thanks to Yanicke for getting us started.  If you haven’t read her post you should do that now. How gorgeous is that picture of her as a youngster reading with her cat Tobias?

Writing is a lonely sport. You do it all on your own and even when someone does finally read your work, they do that all on their own. It’s not like a huge cheer goes up the minute they read your best sentence. There’s no Mexican Wave after your most well-crafted chapter. And as you write, there’s no commentator describing your progress.

A few pages I scrawled the other night.

{Thank Gawd for that hey? Can you imagine it?}

“She’s writing some dialogue, it’s interesting, it’s witty oh but no, fatigue is setting in – here comes a cliché. Such a shame! Wait, wait… she’s re-reading and yes! She’s hitting delete, that cliché is gone. The scene is saved. So the score at this stage is three thousand words deleted and forty thousand on the page – of which 20% is pretty ordinary.”

I give thanks everyday for the delete key.

I give thanks everyday for the delete key.

And writing is nothing much like other long-term projects either. Consider knitting – even when you’re knitting you can at least hold up your work in progress and people can admire your sixty rows of knit one purl two. They can say encouraging things like that looks cosy and you’re so clever. When a writer is working on their manuscript, people tend to say the most unhelpful things like isn’t that book finished yet? when will it be published? and gosh it’s taking you a long time isn’t it?

Started crocheting this bunny rug when I was four months pregnant with my daughter, Sophie.  She's now four... years.

Started crocheting this bunny rug when I was four months pregnant with my daughter, Sophie. She’s now four… years old.

On the rare occasion that a writer might hold up their work-in-progress and offer it for critique, most people don’t know what to say. It’s just a pile of papers or a few thousand words on a screen. The person being shown the work knows that if they’re going to look at it – I mean really look at it – then they’re going to have to invest some serious time and brain-based energy.

Here's an old manuscript from years ago.  My mentor at the time - author Gary Crew - provided all the scrawls and scribbles.  There's a lot isn't there?

Here’s an old manuscript from years ago. My mentor at the time – author Gary Crew – provided all the scrawls and scribbles. There’s a lot isn’t there?

Writing’s lonely for other reasons too. You have to lock yourself away from your family (or lock your family away– always an option I like to consider).

Sophie (nearly 4 years old)

Sophie (nearly 4 years old)

You have to say “no” to nice things like yoga or coffee with friends. You have to be alone so words can seep into the place where all the other bits of life would normally go.

I was a lonely writer for a long while. I thought it was just the nature of the beast and so I struggled on in solitude wishing I had felt the urge to be a knitter or a footballer or anything that was a bit more social, a bit more “Oh that’s coming along nicely”, more “Yeah – great catch Stroudy!”. But ever since I was a little girl, I knew just knew that I was going to be a writer. I’ve tried my fair share of knitting projects and once I even joined a touch footy team (where I ran up and down the sideline before a helpful onlooker explained I wasn’t even on the field). No – I am a writer. I always have been. Snippets of my earliest writing still litter my childhood home.

My mum's still finding little stories I wrote!  We think I authored this one when I was around two or three.

My mum’s still finding little stories I wrote! We think I authored this one when I was around two or three.

Being stuck in regional NSW only seemed to make it worse. Although Merimbula is a beautiful place, the literary scene isn’t bursting with festivals and book releases and workshops. When you call out for another writer, you tend to hear the echo of your own voice.

This is where I live!  Yep - it's gorgeous.  Just not a lot of support for emerging writers in these parts.

This is where I live! Yep – it’s gorgeous. Just not a lot of support for emerging writers in these parts.

As time passed I let my pages of words fly into the world and my first book was published (Measuring Up). And through this process I discovered other authors and it dawned on me that we can be lonely side-by-side, in unison, together.

That’s what The Print Posse is for me and I hope it will become the same for you. It’s a space where writers can be lonely together and where these four fab ladies can reassure you that you are not alone in the lonely sport of writing. Readers can share in the journey, watching us evolve and hopefully- one day – read our swag of published books whilst saying “I knew those girls when…”

Next week you’ll hear from the delightful Fi Miller-Stevens who I know you are going to love and adore! But while you’re waiting for her post, why not leave The Print Posse a comment? We’d love to have some encouraging words thrown our way. Or if you’re a writer needing some support, just let us know and we will say nice, encouraging things. The comment box is just below.

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4 thoughts on “Introducing Gabbie…

  1. Gary Crew was your mentor?! Wowsers! His scrawls on your manuscript look daunting- makes me realise how thorough I need to be with my editing.
    And seriously, how good are mums at keeping old work samples?
    Lovely to get an insight into your life, Gabbie. Can’t wait to say “I knew her back when….”

    Like

    • Hello Shannon, Thanks for finding me here at The Print Posse. Yeah Gary was my mentor. That was back in the day when I was working on a Junior Fiction. It’s still gathering dust in the bottom drawer. He was a ruthless editor and I learnt a lot from him. Keep checking in with us here… oh and I’d love to see some of your ‘archived’ work if your mum has kept something?!

      Like

  2. Great to meet you, Gabbie. I’m always keen for writer support – giving and receiving:) Yes, writing is a lonely process – especially when you are the only one who knows where you’re going with it. And without guidance from those who have learned, and even those who are learning, our work wouldn’t be the same and may not even be read by another person.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Introducing Fiona… | {The Print Posse}

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