Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A blessed sense of relief

Photo: Gordon Smith, Sydney Town Hall.

Yesterday as I walked through the city crowds I felt a blessed sense of relief. I had had to go into the city for a meeting, and then managed to squeeze in coffee with Noric. As I walked round looking at the people and buildings I gawked, just as I had all those years ago when Sydney was still fresh.

The relief came from the fact that I had resolved some things that had worried me. The renewed interest in things about me was linked to this, giving me a capacity to look at things anew.

Last week end I tried to explain to a friend why blogging could help him. I don't think I got the message across. But, to me, blogging has been a salvation.

Part of it is the discipline of writing. Since I started, I must have written a million words. Every day, every week, I try to write. I do not always succeed, but it builds up.

Noric, too, is an inveterate writer. We have worked on joint issues for many years since we first met at a Screen Production Association Conference. He uses his web site and blog to give him a major presence.

Over coffee, we talked about the ways we might use our growing content, given our very limited time. This is a recurring theme between us, one that will never be fully resolved simply because time is so short.

It was a little while since we had been able to get together, so I noticed the ways in which our respective positions had continued to evolve simply through the act of doing and then responding.

Today I was talking to Christine at work.

I had been talking to her about Australian food. She doubted that there was such a thing. To her mind, Australians cooked so many things from different places that we could not sensibly talk about Australian food.

I said that I was going to print off some of my posts in a special book just for her. She was chuffed. She is actually a very Australian girl, but she said that in Australia she lived Chinese, talked Chinese, ate Chinese, watched Chinese TV and went to a Chinese church. Anything that gave her a window into the culture of her new country (she came here as a child) would be great.

I came home from work and started to download posts broken up by themes - people, culture, life style, writers and writing etc. After about an hour, I had the skeleton of a new book.

Now I had actually been meaning to do something like this for a while, but Christine provided a reason and a focus. Knowing her quite well, what would she (and others like her) find interesting? What might give her the flavour, the variety, of Australia as I have known it?

Setting up the structure and indeed the content of such a book is not hard. This is simply a matter of selection and ordering among the hundreds of posts that I have written. The hard and time consuming part will be the editing and formatting.

Later I may try for proper publication. At this stage, I am simply aiming for something that looks okay and which can be photocopied both sides of the page and then bound. Once this is done, and if it is interesting to the reader, then I can think about further steps.


Anonymous said...

The book project is a really good idea. In fact it could turn out to be a better proposition for some purposes than the blog itself, as connection between items will be more apparent. You certainly have the makings of a good book.

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, Neil. I will report back as to progress.