7 Jan 2014

Come on The Writing Journey

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make
you something else, is the greatest accomplishment.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

When Clancy Tucker, Storyteller, Author, Publisher, Photographer, Human Rights Activist, Social Justice Campaigner and sometime poet invited me to be a guest on his blog – I was thrilled to sit down at Clancy's creative table. Here is a peek view at some insights that came to light while I pondered the writing journey...


The journey began once upon a childhood, when my father breathed life into the fairy tale characters at bedtime. Little did we know that a few years later, one of my favourite fables would foreshadow a similar life challenge. Like Thumbelina, I was confronted with having to accept a ‘darkening of the sunlight’ when an unexpected diagnosis of pending blindness threatened to drag me into a world void of visual images. At seventeen, I was determined to keep chasing the light along my life’s journey.

A few decades later, having become a mother and aromatherapist, story teller and vocalist, I was still facing the gateway to blindness, so I decided to start jotting down my autobiography as a gift for my children. Jottings meandered into short stories, short stories skipped with playful curiosity to enter writing competitions, encouraging words of support boosted morale and a desire for refining personal vignettes – and before I knew it, I had fallen in love with the art of writing.


I view being a writer as similar to caring for a productive garden. Crafting stories is a highly creative process that demands the same sort of patience, pride and care. I love taking note of particular words people use and keep them in a word file, just as I gather the seeds of my sunflowers.

Little seeds of inspiration germinate in the mind and one feels compelled to nurture the growth of a story from its kernel-idea and tend to its every need as it takes shape in your thoughts and on paper: to prune paragraphs and weed out insignificant sentences, to watch out for ‘wordy-worms’, and to graft ideas into place as the story matures to become the final draft – before fulfilling its potential as a published article.

One of the joys for me as a writer, is capturing the essence of what it means to live as a vision-impaired person, and take the reader on a sensory journey to discover a world unseen.




The balancing act, juggling time: being mother and wife on one hand, writer on the other. Nothing is more frustrating than having to interrupt a great creative spurt of writing or editing to do a mundane chore like hunter-gathering at the local supermarket because my family expect more than a bowl of carrots for dinner – spoilt little rabbits.

The other aspect of being a freelance writer I find difficult is meeting someone else’s publishing deadline. Accepting completion dates is a crucial ingredient to being a writer or one might procrastinate indefinitely but somehow, the pressure of someone waiting to approve the story idea you pitched can create performance anxiety. Will they accept my article? Will I have to rewrite it all over again? Can I maintain the balance of time for family and work while trying to accommodate the publisher’s deadline? So it is with enormous relief when the final draft is accepted by the editor.

To read the in depth interview where I answer many more questions including
  • tips for new writers
  • my favourite authors
  • what influences my writing
  • defining success
  • and much more...

See Clancy Tucker’s blog: clancy tucker

© 2014 Maribel Steel

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