On doing and becoming (a writer)

The act of writing is easy enough. One simply puts pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and repeats as necessary. In making the journey from writing to writer however, things can start feeling more complicated.

Unlike professions which require completion of a certain qualification, or training in a particular set of skills, there are many different paths you can take to become a writer. For me such a realisation has been both wonderful and challenging. Wonderful because it means the door is theoretically open to anyone who wishes to write, but challenging because with such opportunity comes an extraordinarily generous measure of crippling self-doubt.

Writing and a writer

Writing has always been something I’ve pursued in the background, treating it more like a dream than a serious venture. Being a writer seemed to be a thing that other people did, and it never really occurred to me that writing is something I could and should be focussing on. So I’ve spent many years in professional wilderness – working in jobs I didn’t like, wishing I could just be ‘normal’ and be happy working in a corporate nine-to-five kind of job.

Having the past ten months away from work has honestly been the best thing I have ever done. Instead of it being time ‘off’, those months have very much been time ‘on’. I have learnt so much about myself and my writing during that time, and I finally feel like I have a clear sense of my future goals.

Even though I still have some unfinished business to take care of back at the day job, I have decided to completely embrace this writing life and all the ups and downs that come with it. While I may not always be comfortable expressing it, I know that in many ways I have always been, and will always be, a writer.


  1. Teresa

    This post makes me very happy Tracey! 🙂

    (Also, I am so so so so bad for being so so late at emailing you back. I think I’ve broken the record.)

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Teresa – This makes me happy too! 🙂 … although I do have to do a bit more work first … but it’s all good. 🙂

      PS. No hurry on the email … I have become absolutely shocking in keeping up to date with anything at all lately … life just has a way of keeping us all busy. xx

  2. Kylie

    Good on you Tracey, for taking the leap! xx

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Kylie – Thanks so much. Even though I know there is a lot of hard work ahead, I can’t wait to see what the future holds. 🙂

  3. woolf

    discipline, hey? it seems to me often it comes down to discipline, any which thing or level within ourselves we like/try to achieve. your intentions are clear, and good. now comes the ‘getting on with things’. i’ve been there, i’ve retreated from it. perhaps one day it’ll happen (with ALL of my efforts, or course – it doesn’t just happen), whilest writing undoubtedly is a passion.
    ambition too. important. do not lose your ambition. i find not harbouring too much of ambition myself, generating more a feeling of okay/alright, helps me to unfocus easily.
    and lastly concentration, bringing us back to focus, not?
    i see concentration you have going for you, alot.
    WELL done!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Woolf – Yes discipline is key I think. The last few months have to some degree been a test as to whether I can do what needs to be done, and whether I’m able to not only apply the right pressure to achieve results, but whether I’m also happy in doing the writing. Sometimes I think it takes a while to get ourselves to a place where things feel ‘right’ and ‘possible’ in the right kinds of ways (at least that’s how it was for me).

      That’s a good point you raise about ambition … as someone who can take a ‘whatever’, take-things-as-they-come kind of approach to most things, with writing I will do my best to keep my eyes ‘on the prize’.

      Thanks for the tips and the thoughts. xx

  4. Andrew

    I say ‘awesome’. Best of luck to you on your continued journey of writing.

    Whether writing a thank you note, a monster document or anything else, writing can be rewarding. For me the reward comes from another person’s reaction.

    Best Regards


    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Andrew – Thanks. I’ve got a few months before I properly ‘take the plunge’, but after the last few months of ‘training’, I know that I will make this writing thing happen for me … in whatever form that takes. 🙂

  5. Chartreuse

    Good for you. I wish I’d made such a decision 30 or even 40 years ago. I think my life would have taken a very different direction. But hey, it’s never too late. Right?

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Chartreuse – Thank you. I most definitely think it’s never too late to pursue your dreams, or follow your heart on something … better to start sometime than never start at all, I say. 🙂

  6. Rol

    Excellent – long may you continue. Writing can be a lonely road, but there’s nothing more fulfilling. (Says me, about to return to full-time work, and worried I might struggle to find the time in the next few months…)

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Rol – Thanks. I’m kind of wondering why it took me so long to get myself sorted and just get to writing … I seem to have avoided it for a ridiculous number of years.

      Ah yes, full-time work … such a pain, but a very useful way to earn some $$ … I hope you manage to find a good balance between it and your writing (I’m hoping to do the same). 🙂

  7. Debby

    Glad it’s been a good ten months for you. Keep up the good work.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Debby – Thanks so much … it was most certainly a nice break from work, and helped me work through a lot of important decisions. xx

  8. katiecrackernuts

    Tracey, Thanks, as always, for stopping by my blog. Those beads are beautiful. I still can’t believe what you can find at an op shop. It really is true that one man’s trash is another’s treasure.

    Ah, being a writer. It’s such a strange thing to say that you do but it’s at the heart of my nine-to-five and more and more my partner and I have been thinking about our skill sets beyond writing and what the whole nine-to-five actually means. At the moment there are some no-brainer reasons for the nine-to-five but there are really good reasons around at the moment to consider what lies beyond it too.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Katiecrackernuts – I do so enjoy visiting your blog, I’m just sorry that my visits have been so sporadic of late. It is quite incredible what some people throw away – but thank goodness so many lovely things are donated rather than trashed in the bin.

      I wonder how my perspective would be different if writing was my nine-to-five job, perhaps that’s part of my frustration with my day job – the fact that it relates in no way to what I really want to do. Money is a very big benefit of any day job, however the pull of happiness is slowly but surely winning out for me … so I’m making grand plans for the future. 🙂

  9. Narnie

    Hello lovely, how exciting this is for you. I’ve kept the day job, although I always say to people that it is my other life and my proper job is as writer. Making a buck from it is still something I am struggling with. I wonder whether I will ever take the plunge myself to do it 24/7 and write those three other novels I have in draft and those countless poems from my notebooks. But you have the right time and the right skills to go for it now. Massive hugs to you. xx

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Kiersty – The future is looking very exciting … although the day job is still temporarily tucked up my sleeve for the moment. It is difficult to focus 100% on your writing when other practicalities (like silly old money) must be considered. Though in saying that, I would very much love to read your novels one day … and of course more of your poems would be a delight too! 🙂

  10. Selma

    Good for you, Tracey. I really wish you well. I have a feeling you’re going to be really successful. Go for it!!!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Selma – Thanks so much … it’s been great to finally make some big decisions for the future and commit myself properly to the things that really make me happy. xx

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