2007 Writing Journal – Part 3


I’m taking a blog break to do another Project October. In place of my normal blog posts during July, I will be posting in nine parts a writing journal I completed as the major assessment piece of my final master’s subject called The Writerly Self.

This is Part 3.


13 March 2007
Uh-oh, more Noam Chomsky in the tutorial links. Between him and Jacques Derrida, I’m starting to feel stupid. I know Melissa feels his ideas are important and persists in fighting her way through, but I’m not as determined as her. It’s funny because she posted her discussion thread today and the sample of her writing that she chose to include was a poem protesting the incomprehensibility of postmodern language. But I find Chomsky’s use of English just as incomprehensible. I’m sure it’s very important work. I just wish he’d say it in simple terms. Really, is there any necessity for complex ideas to be wrapped up in complex (read indecipherable) language?

I suppose it gives his work a voice of authority. ‘I’m smarter than you because I know lots of big words.’ Maybe. Thank goodness I’m not interested in having an authoritative voice. I’d rather just entertain people and make them happy. That’s how my favourite writers make me feel and I’d love to be able to engender the same sorts of feelings in others.

19 March 2007
Maybe they do this to test us, but I find quite often that the tutorial question has nothing to do with the lecture notes or the tutorial links. It has made me a brilliant researcher, though, having to find articles and references on my own in order to effectively answer the question. Google is my saviour. And how weird is this? When I Google myself, I finally have an entry. Just one, single, solitary entry, but still it’s my first, so I feel kind of giddy. It’s a reference on a writer friend’s website, answering a question about how he names his characters, which is to steal them from his friends, a practice I am very familiar with. Just about everyone in my novel is named after people I work with, including the office bully who I’ve made the bad guy and will kill off in the end. Oh, sweet justice!

Hopefully, nobody will sue me. Most people are honoured to see themselves or their namesake appearing in a book. Tara Moss always says her friends want to be killed off in her novels. I’m happy to do the same. But then I also remember Helen Garner, I think it was, saying she had described a character in her book as having big pores and a friend took exception, thinking Helen was using her writing to have a go at her. That’s one thing I always make clear. It might be your name, but the character is not you. It’s really me, as, of course, all my characters are me.

26 March 2007
Jacqui posted the due date for the assessment piece and it’s put me into a bit of a spin. I don’t think I’m going to make it. It was going to be called ‘Everything I Know About Writing (A Short Book)’ and it was going to be terribly witty and humorous. But I’m still unsure of the format. I mean, I can’t just dump everything I’ve ever written into a Word document and hand it over. It needs a purpose, it needs streamlining, it needs… more time than I’ve got. I think I’ll have to shelve it again and consider writing something else for the assessment piece. Crap!

Josie’s lecture for this week began with a discussion of fractal geometry. That woman can take anything and everything and somehow make it about writing. I’m struggling with the link myself. Is it human nature to overcomplicate even the simple things in life? It’s a little ironic that I’m complaining about it because I wrote myself that writing can be everything. I wrote that while working on the project I shelved about twelve seconds ago.

‘Writing can be everything. That’s what makes it so much fun. An apple can only ever be an apple. Sometimes it might look like an apple pie or a glass of juice, but deep down in its heart, it will always be an apple. But writing…ah, writing. There is nothing that it can’t be. Writing can be everything. And to the person who says, “Writing can’t be a rocket ship to the moon,” I’ll find ten people who believe with all their hearts that it can.’

God, I can write utter crap at times.


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