Friday, 8 January 2010

Oh To Be A Writer

The first week of 2010 could not have provided me with a worse start. I’ve spent most of the time wasting it because the books I need to continue my work with are not available currently. I find this immensely frustrating. One would think I could spend this time doing something constructive, but this has also proved difficult. My brain cannot shut off ever. Even if it tried it could not provide me with respite.

So unfortunately I’ve spent the past 10 days to two weeks essentially doing nothing and obsessing about things I should not be obsessing about. It is fine to obsess about things like music, movies and deadlines for example, for these things are tangible. Obsessing about the abstract, or the possibility of future events that are yet to happen is not wise. Suffice to say I have been doing too much of this. Having a discussion today with my best friend, we both concluded that PDA online style breaches the line of good taste, for we have had to deal with too much of it in the past. So, I won’t bore you dear reader with details. Suffice to say I really need my books to hurry up and bloody well get here.

On the few occasions my mind has been diverted, I decided that in another life I’d like to be a writer. Not the academic writer of which I plan to make my living, but a writer who creates pleasurable things for others to read. I don’t regard myself as a very good writer at all. Sure I can string a sentence together and prattle on about the state of political parties and so forth, or alternatively go into great detail about online PDA, but that gets very few inspired, or does it? I’m unsure.

I thought about compiling a list of my favourite writers. Those who are known like Bob Ellis and Christopher Hitchens, both inspire and challenge my thoughts on politics and the world around me. Then there are those like Marieke Hardy and Clem Bastow, who write and talk about Australian pop culture in such a way that everything they utter: the good, the sublime, and the plain wicked, act as the ultimate intellectual aphrodisiac. There are also those who are not famous: like the person who inspired me to resume blogging in the first place, a woman who is such a talented writer even though she does not blog anymore because she is a doctor. Or the blogger whom I have recently discovered that chronicles her daily life in such a painfully honest way that it both inspires me profoundly and forces me to think about the way in which I live my life every single day.

They are all great writers because they speak directly to me. Every time I read pieces by them my brain fires away and they inspire me to think creatively. On Christmas Day I started Bob Ellis’s book The Capitalism Delusion: a wonderfully old fashioned left wing diatribe about the perils of free market economics. Sure, it was designed for a very niche audience of which I am apart, but it inspired me to think about political issues, issues which I think about every day, in an entirely different perspective.

Those like Hardy and Bastow provide a marked contrast to the serious political discussion I read about every day. They both share my political views, but more importantly they are the voice for my generation in age of over saturation and idiocy. They extensively use social networking websites, but they are used to provide witty commentary on current events and important issues. Bastow tends to work from the inside out commenting on such events with personal insights, often with hilarious wit. Hardy uses her profile on the ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club to educate viewers on great literary works of Amis and Hemingway, and her newspaper articles praising great shows like Skins, or showing her rightful contempt for Daryl Somers, all in an irreverent fashion.

The thing that astounds me the most is that Bastow is only a year older than I, and has more talent for writing than I possess in my little finger. Hardy whilst a little older again has already written a TV series, has another that will air on the ABC later this year, and is working on a manuscript that I cannot wait to read. Oh, and if she finds the time can she finalise her divorce and shack up with me? How’s that for online PDA?

So if you’re currently stuck in a rut like me, check out the above writers, ask me for links and perhaps you too will be momentarily distracted from that person who occupies your mind for every waking second. Opps, too much PDA again, sorry. Still working on that.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are a fabulous writer, Todd! You often raise thoughts that I find so intriguingly complicates that I can't wrap my brain around it enough to comment - my fault, not yours ;)

    here's to books arriving and a better year! xx