Happy new year, dear reader! I hope the first few weeks of 2019 have brought you a renewed sense of energy and focus. Even though it’s always hard to sustain that enthusiasm, using it to propel you into something new (or, as is the case with me, pick up or return to something old), is a great thing. Just take it step-by-step.
Well, that’s what I’m telling myself anyway.
Never mind that I’ve just spend the better part of the last twenty minutes staring at this empty screen. Despite having written about at least 200,000 words in 2018, few made it onto this blog. But this year, that will change. Why? Because this time, I’m accountable to myself, to my family and friends, to you and, perhaps most importantly, to the Blacktown City Council Creative Arts Fund Program.
In case you missed it, this happened last July:
We were in the midst of moving into our new house (yes, can you believe it, I started writing about building a home four years ago, and now we’re finally in) when I received the news that my application for the Blacktown City Council Creative Arts Fund was successful. Talk about over the moon!
Mr 2 and Mum came along when I received the award, which made the whole experience really special. Big kudos to Joshua Morris, who captured the three generations of my family beautifully:
The project I’ve received support for includes documenting the process of writing my parents’ memoirs on this blog, so you will undoubtedly see/read more from me (and my mum and dad) over the coming months. It also involves interviewing and documenting the stories of other immigrants from the Blacktown community – something I’m really excited about. By the end of June 2019, I intend to have the draft of my manuscript complete. No easy feat, but given that I’ve been talking about this project for five years, it’s something that I’m keen to finish.
2018 was an intense year for me, personally. I started a new job, finished building our first family home (a process I’ve yet to recover from but most certainly could write a book about), moved into that home (exciting but gruelling), completed several amazing (but mentally and physically demanding) writing projects, worked with an inspiring group of female writers through the Sweatshop Literacy Movement, sold some of my art, kept two humans alive, oh, and we hosted Christmas lunch and New Years Eve dinner to top all of it off.
In short, it was easy to be distracted from this project. It has been ticking along, with more interviews and transcribing done through August-November (and what I’d like to think are at least several workable paragraphs downloaded onto my voice recorder during the drives home), but this next six months will require dedication and focus.
And that is where you come in. I need your help.
If anything, to remind me that this project does need finishing (if not for my sake, at least for my kids and future grandkids, who I’d like to think will get something valuable from this memoir).
There are also two really practical ways you can help me continue working on this.
- If you grew up or currently live in Blacktown City, and your family immigrated to Australia, I want to hear from you – please contact me or send me a message on Instagram or Facebook. There are hundreds and thousands of us who have come from elsewhere to make Western Sydney our home – each with unique stories and memories worth documenting. Seriously. You might not think your experience is anything special, but I guarantee that no-one in this world has lived the life you (or your parents, or siblings!) have lived. So please, give me a chance to get it down and provide the generations ahead of us a sliver of our stories. Maybe (probably) they’ll learn something. If I get enough interest, I’d really like to start a separate site dedicated to these stories, which allows other people to upload their own / their family memoirs. What do you think? Yes/No?
- Buy me a coffee (I live on the stuff, most writers I know do). Seriously though, this is a passion project that I do in my “spare time”. So if you like what you’ve read on my blog so far, or if you believe this is a project worth my time, you can show your financial support with a small (coffee sized amount 😜 ) donation by hitting the button below. Consider it my tip jar of sorts. The more financial support I get, the more time I can dedicate to this project, so I’ve set it up so reader can do a one-off or regular donation.
Finally, please continue to leave your feedback (if not here, on my social channels). Every time I bumped into a reader last year and they told me they’d been following my writing, or they asked me how this project was going, I felt a boost of confidence. Accountability really does help, as does knowing that I’ve got your support.
Looking forward to keeping you posted on the progress.