The writer's journey has many pathways to publication and, hopefully, fame, film options and eventual wealth.
Today's guest writer, Lannah Sawers-Diggins, describes her writers journey in a most engaging way, from publishing her father's life work to discovering her own creative passion for writing. Enjoy and please share with your friends.
The Year My Life Began
It wasn’t at birth. Nope. Please don’t get this wrong - I had a wonderful and very unique childhood and the rest, leading up to the present – well, like everyone, I had my share of ups and downs. But I do feel that my life really did begin only a few years ago. It happened something like this.
I awoke one morning, suddenly realising I had to get my late father’s book published.
Dad had been working on this book for the last twenty or so years prior to his death in 1993. Every spare minute, when not focussing on one of his other passions – his family, our family station, his veteran cars and nature, was devoted to his book. In short, ‘The Sawers From Pitcairn’ traces the lives of the first of our ancestors when they moved from our home in Scotland out to Australia, following their employment on various sheep and cattle stations in two Australian states, finishing up with a detailed look of life on the station which remains in our family today. Dad had literally just finished the actual writing when he passed on. In the years since, the manuscript and accompanying piles of documents and photos passed between my three elder brothers and me, back and forth, again and again, until it landed in my hands for the umpteenth time and I finally typed it out.
Then on that particular morning – it was a birthday - I knew I had to get it out. This feeling was a tad overwhelming - I presumed that my mother’s advancing age (late 80s) might have had something to do with it. Fit as a fiddle usually, but she was also the world’s leader in hiding minor details like health issues.
Writers Journey: How to find a Publisher
But – that little block that stops so many authors in their tracks, some forever, others only temporarily - how do you get published – seriously – how? Now this itty bitty problem just might have been enough to put me off altogether but for the memory of Dad’s passion for his writing, ancestry and the outback of Australia not kept nagging at me. Added to that the thought of Mum and her pride in her Dad’s efforts - but not seeing them come to fruition – that did it. I found a self-publishing business that offered precisely what I was looking for. Full steam ahead. There was no stopping me.
The book was published exactly a week after Mum died in 2010.
Damn! But - I had tried and was reassured that Mum knew that something had finally been done about the book - that it was close to release and that, I was told, made her a happy woman at point of death. Well, as happy as anyone can be when facing the end of life.
Thus was the catalyst for my writing. It was and is now in my blood and I am following a lifelong dream of writing and publishing books.
Next off the rank was one about bullying. I had been a victim in the past and it was rife throughout my family. I am now an advocate in this fight. While embroiled in this and with my bullying book, ‘Bullseye’ safely published, I was finally able to turn my attention to combining two of my passions – writing and the outback. As mentioned earlier I had the most wonderful and unique childhood – I grew up on that sheep station in South Australia. My book on stations is a work in progress – I am absolutely thriving on it.
I began work on it about eighteen months ago. The research has presented the biggest challenge of my life (apart from childbirth…) but to say I really am loving absolutely every nano-second of it would be the understatement of my life. Doing this has also finally given me a chance to put my journalism and photography into action – ie I do all my own and loving it.
Picture this, if you will. I am a 57 year young woman, have been very happily married for 31 years, with two successful adult daughters, have enjoyed a great life to date, but that day – that birthday – when my ‘epiphany’ struck – well, let’s just say I really do not feel life could get a lot better. I am on this road now – writing is well and truly in my blood – and I am meeting the most amazing and unique people. Doors that I would never have even looked at in the past are now actually opening for me – AND letting me pass through. I am now doing radio interviews, both national and international – all so good.
I am now also writing for several online publications – some voluntary, others are paid positions. Love them all. It is all such invaluable experience and exposure and, believe me, I grab at anything I can to help on this road. At times I venture well and truly out of my comfort zone and have made more than a few enemies – but also many, many new friends who well and truly outnumber the former.
Every day, something new happens or I discover a fresh approach to an old idea or problem. Yes, I certainly do meet with some very negative obstacles which do halt me, very briefly.
In summary, LIFE IS GREAT. The sky really IS the limit. After that, who knows.