Back Home (for now)

Dear readers,

I am writing to you from my parents’ house, on an inflatable mattress, with seven suitcases scattered in the hallway, the dining room, and the bedrooms. The past week has been a crazy mess of packing, cleaning, and goodbyes. My degree is over, and I’m in this strange limbo that isn’t quite real life, but almost.

Tomorrow is my twentieth birthday, and in two months and a day, I will be on my way to Iceland for my first writing residency. Thank you so much to everyone who pledged to, shared, and supported my Kickstarter campaign. Without that, I don’t know what I would have done.

For now I really need to get back to my writing. I have taken a bit of an unintentional break, letting work and life get in the way. Every time this happens, I get nervous for next year when I’ll have to have a full-time day job to support myself and my writing. I fully realise that I’ve been spoiled, having the freedom to fully immerse myself in exactly what I wanted to do for the past three years, and again at the residency. After that the real challenge begins, and I’m nervous and excited to go through it all with you.

Thank you so much for being here,

Yours,

Tamara Drazic

Advertisements

On Embracing the Unknown Future

I have no idea what my future holds, and I kind of like it that way. Somewhere along the line I’ve embraced the fact that I’m probably (definitely) not going to go straight from university to a comfortable and well-paying job. I’m probably not going to buy an apartment and a nice car any time soon. I mean, I can’t even drive.

I honestly don’t think there’s much point to having one set plan. No matter what you do, life is always going to throw some surprises in there. Plans change, and the last thing I want is to see an experience in a negative light just because it’s not what I expected or planned for.

I’ve been asked the question, “So what’s your plan?”, more times than I can count on my fingers this year. Everyone’s eager to hear what on Earth I’m going to do with this creative writing degree of mine. I’m thinking of maybe looking into house sitting overseas. I’m talking to people. I’m looking for opportunities and reaching for them when they come up. Sometimes I can’t quite reach them. Sometimes I reach them, but they manage to get away, and that’s okay too.

I know that I’m still young and naive, but I’ve come to realise that there’s no formula to this thing. There’s no one way of “doing it right”. So for now, my plan is not really having a strict plan. My goal is learning as much as I can, and writing what I love to write. My aim is to just make it work.

To all of you who worry about what the future might hold, just remember that no one really knows what the hell they’re doing. All the rules and expectations that we hold ourselves to are just made up by, well, us.

Have a great day.

– Tamara

Quick Update – WIP – Twitter – Spinebind

Hi guys,

Just a quick update – today I reached the 10 thousand word mark on my current work-in-progress once again. I keep deleting thousands of words and then getting back to 10 thousand, and then deleting and then writing, but I think I may finally be over the hump. I’m excited to leave the beginning alone for a while now and just keep moving forward.

Also, I decided to go through my old Twitter account, and it was a painful experience. All the tweets were from when I was around 15 years old; they made me feel physically sick. Anyway, I’m happy to finally have a clean slate where I can focus on my writing, my blog, and on Spinebind. If you want to get even quicker updates than this, follow me at Tamara Drazic, @drazicdiaries.

The second issue of Spinebind is well underway, and I’m currently in the exceedingly difficult process of deciding on which pieces to publish. I received even more submissions this time around, which is crazy to me. Fortunately, a lot of them are quite short so I may be able to fit in more writers. There are just too many great submissions to choose from, and I’m having the most amazing time reading them. I’m maybe having a little too much fun with it, considering it is the final week of university for the semester, and my assignments are piling on top of each other.

I hope you are all having a fabulous day,

Yours truly,

Tamara

Relocating for Work?

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re well. As you may know, I am graduating from my Creative and Professional Writing course at university at the end of this year. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m going to be doing next year, and how I’m going to finance my life. As I was job hunting for availabilities in Brisbane, I realised that there really isn’t a lot here for creative writers and editors. Lately I’ve been thinking about relocating from Brisbane to Melbourne to try my hand at getting an editorial job down there. There are so many more opportunities, but also about double the competition, so I’m very torn.

I do love Brisbane, but I kind of feel like it’s my “uni” city, if that makes sense. It’s perfect for my university time, as a kind of transition from small-town Cairns, but it doesn’t really feel quite right for me. I know that if I were working here, I would always be thinking about where else I could be exploring. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Europe a couple of times, but I have never actually lived outside of Queensland, Australia. I’d love to live in England for a period of time, and maybe visit my Swiss roots, but I do feel like Australia will always be my home.

The creative scene down in Melbourne is a lot more vivacious and happening than what we have in Brisbane, which, in a way, has lessened Brisbane’s creative scene’s ability to grow. A lot of the young creatives leave as soon as they’ve finished their degrees, because of the limited opportunities, and this stops new opportunities from coming about.

I’m still not certain, but I feel like I will definitely need a change of scene next year. I’m excited and nervous and a little scared. If you feel like you’re at a dead end in your current city, but you’re afraid to leave friends and family, I hope my experience will help you make your decision. I’ll be blogging all about the move next year on my lifestyle blog, if it does end up happening.

It will be quite daunting to leave my friends, and move even further away from my family, but getting a job that I really love is so important to me. I am the kind of person that easily feels restless and frustrated if I’m doing work that isn’t important to me, so I know that “just doing something” is not an option. Besides, I’m excited for a new adventure.

Yours sincerely,

Tamara Drazic

Dealing With Self-Doubt While Pursuing a Creative Career

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for sticking with me during this busy time. I know I’m not posting as regularly as I’d like, but now that the first issue of Spinebind is out (finally), I’ll have more time to focus on this blog.

Today I want to talk about self-doubt, particularly surrounding career paths. As you may know, I’m studying Creative and Professional Writing at university, and I’m really enjoying it. I want to write books, personal essays, columns, articles, web content, and poetry, and I also want to edit fiction and non fiction, and write manuscript assessments for publishing houses. There are jobs available, and although it’s going to be hard, I think I’ll be able to get a job that I love. So why is it that I used to just add “it’s like journalism” after telling people what I study? Why was I so scared of telling people I was studying something creative? I think it was because I didn’t want people to think that I thought I’d make it. I was afraid of seeming like I believed in myself.

I also had a habit of mocking myself, so other people wouldn’t do it.

“I don’t have a plan, I study creative writing.”

“I’m used to being unemployed, I study creative writing.”

“Don’t ask me, I study creative writing.”

This sort of thinking doesn’t help anyone with anything, least of all yourself. In the past year I’ve come to realise that the people who try to tear you down and who think badly of you for trying to reach your goals really shouldn’t matter to you. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people. I think we’re all guilty of looking at other people’s life choices and measuring them up against our own. I just mean that other people’s opinions shouldn’t have control over how you feel, or the goals that you set, or the career that you pursue. In the end, it’s your life, and yours alone.

If you are struggling with self-doubt, I’ve found it really helps to look at your intentions. You want to achieve something. You want to do what you love every day. You want to try, even though you know it might not work out. That’s pretty admirable, in my opinion.

So next time you tell someone what you want to do with your life, don’t mock yourself. Don’t feel stupid. Don’t think about what the other person is thinking. My lecturer read us this quote just last week:

“We’re all failures, at least the best of us are.”     – J.M. Barrie

No creative person will go through life without failing at some point. In fact, no person in general will always succeed at everything. And that’s ok.

I hope this helped at least a little bit. I think that self-doubt and fearing other people’s opinions is just a part of learning what is really important. Be proud of yourself that you believe in yourself enough to pursue what you love, and don’t give up.

I’d love to hear your stories, so if you’d like to share, please feel free to start up a discussion in the comments section.

Thanks so much for reading.

Yours sincerely,

Tamara