After taking a break from writing these past few months, it’s been a difficult horse to climb back onto. Falling out of the routine and finding my groove again has been difficult, especially when there’s an 80,000-word manuscript waiting for my attention, and all I want to do is see the back of it.
I’ve had a number of false starts, climbing back into the saddle, getting spooked, and jumping off again. The stubborn side of me refuses to let this project go. The same side that pushed me to finish the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand when I prayed injury would force me to quit in the first few weeks. But last night, when I opened chapter one of draft six to rework the opening paragraphs, an hour later, I wanted to hit delete on the entire manuscript.
Why did I decide to write a book in the first place? I’ve always enjoyed writing and have often dreamed of having a book to my name. The book gave me purpose, and allowed me to relive, process, and put to bed so many of the events that happened on the trail in 2013. For those who followed my Mexico to Canada blog, you know there was a lot happening behind the scenes that didn’t make it to the page. I wanted to fill in those gaps and tell the full story, but the book lacks the essence of the blog, the innocence of seeing, experiencing, and feeling those emotions for the first time. The blog was unique because of its followers and the community it created. It did the journey justice in a way the book in its current form does not.
The year of 2019 has been a remaking of Rozanne. Rozanne 2.0, as my dear friend Patou would describe, is learning to reconnect to her thoughts, feelings, and intuitions, trust her own judgement and have the confidence to follow her own path. Instead of writing, I’ve rekindled my love for theatre, studied mindfulness, social psychology, and compassionate communication. I’ve reconnected with friends, immersed myself in nature, spent hours in my kayak, slowed life down, and taken stock of these beautiful 37 years of life. It’s been a remarkable journey, and there’s only one thing that’s been missing.
After rekindling my passion for theatre this year, following almost twenty years of dormancy, I wondered what kind of an actor I’d be now if I ignored all the rejections and continued living that passion. I gave away acting after a miserable audition into Sydney’s largest theatre company, and being rejected from Australia’s best-known acting school at the end of high school. I followed a path behind the camera and studied TV production instead, which seems like a ludicrous decision now. But after receiving some pretty harsh feedback on my manuscript earlier this year, I realise how sensitive I can be to criticism, and I’ll be making the same mistake again if I give up on my writing now.
Book or no book, I need to get back on the horse and just write for the love of it. I may never have a memoir to my name, but in 20 years, when I’m version 3.0 or even 4, instead of wondering what kind of writer I would have been if I just kept at it, I’ll know.